Premier Scott Moe will lead an 11-day trade mission to Japan and South Korea beginning next week to attract investment and advance Saskatchewan’s trade interests in one of the province’s most important global market regions.
“Saskatchewan has the food, fuel and fertilizer the world needs,” Moe said. “Global market connections are the lifeblood of our economy, with Saskatchewan goods shipped to more than 150 countries each year. Asia is one of the most important markets for our province, and Japan and South Korea are vital to our continued export growth in the region. We place a high priority on not only continuing to develop and diversify existing links there with our key economic sectors, but also establishing new ones.” This is Premier Moe’s first visit to either country, both of which are significant contributors to Saskatchewan’s economic connections with Asia. The trip, which begins October 7, also incorporates a stop in Hong Kong to meet with investors. There will be strong representation from provincial business and industry stakeholders, including the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) and a contingent of its member companies, as well as Canpotex, Cameco and Mosaic.
A key focus of the mission will be promoting Saskatchewan agriculture and agri-food products. With current trade disputes in other key markets, discussions will focus on advancing opportunities under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Canada Korea Free Trade Agreement for Saskatchewan products such as canola (seed, oil, meal), wheat, durum, malt barley, pulses, beef and pork. The mission also features involvement from provincial academic institutions such as the University of Regina, the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan PolyTechnic, as well as the International Carbon Capture and Storage Knowledge Centre, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, and the Canadian Light Source synchrotron. Since 2007, Saskatchewan’s exports to Asia have increased 158 per cent, from a value of $3.3 billion in 2007 to $8.5 billion in 2018. In 2018, the province’s exports to Japan were valued at $1.13 billion, and more than 99 per cent of those exports were agri-food products. South Korea is Asia’s fourth largest economy and represents a significant growth opportunity for Saskatchewan exports.