The 2011 Saskatchewan State of Trade document identifies the need to diversify trade away from the U.S., particularly towards China and India. It also affirms the importance of the Japanese market, especially for canola.
Released in 2012, the Saskatchewan Growth Plan recognizes the risks associated with focusing on only one market. The Government identified the Asia Pacific and other new markets, with specific attention to China, as being a priority for trade and investment. The growth plan set the goal of doubling the value of Saskatchewan’s exports by 2020. Premier Brad Wall recently recognized that this growth ‘’will come primarily from Asian customers.”
In 2014, the Saskatchewan Asia Advisory Council submitted its final report to the government. With 45 recommendations, it advised establishing an Asian Leaders Business Council, engaging with Asian diasporas, increasing in-market representation in South and Southeast Asia, and much more. Acknowledging Asian business culture, the report called for a relationship-based investment attraction strategy for key Saskatchewan projects. The report pushed for Asian language training, especially Mandarin, in both secondary and post-secondary education.
In 2010, Saskatchewan, in collaboration with British Columbia and Alberta, opened a Western Canada Trade and Investment office based in Shanghai (China). The office was opened as part of the New West Partnership agreement between the three provinces, which is aimed at collaborative initiatives towards international markets.
In the 2012 Growth Plan, the government stated its intent to increase Saskatchewan international in-market presence in at least five key markets by 2020. However, the Growth Plan stipulates that this presence will be achieved through contracted in-market presence, not through the establishment of new trade offices.
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Three of Saskatchewan’s five sister cities are located in Asia, all of which are in China (Jinan, Jilin City, and Shijazhuang). Saskatchewan also maintains a sister province relationship with Jilin Province, China which it established in 1984, and is now the second longest-running sister province relationship between Canada and China.
In February 2014, Saskatchewan and Jilin reaffirmed their relationship and continued collaboration on research, educational and scholarly exchanges.
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Did You Know...
Potash has been Saskatchewan’s top export to Indonesia since 2008.