In his first Asian trade mission, Premier Scott Moe is looking to improve market access for Saskatchewan exports to China.
Though Moe insists this trip isn’t directly related to the North American Free Trade Agreement limbo, Moe said he’s hoping it will reinforce Saskatchewan’s close trade relationship with China.
“(The trade mission is) related, in the broader context, to preserving the market that we have in China; it’s our second largest export market to date,” Moe told reporters Friday afternoon.
Moe added he hopes this trip will help make Saskatchewan less reliant on the U.S.
“(It’s) a tremendous challenge when you only have one customer for certain products that we export here in the province,” Moe said, noting oil as an example.
“We want to preserve every opportunity, (so) some of our other industries don’t find themselves in that same locked-in, one customer market.”
A keynote address on carbon capture, and a speech on the link between Saskatchewan potash and improved Chinese crop yields are among the highlights on Moe’s week-long trade mission agenda.
The premier also plans to showcase the strength and sustainability of the province’s food, fuel and fertilizer sectors.
Moe will be joined overseas by a Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership delegation of more than 20 representatives from the province’s agriculture, agri-value, manufacturing and ag-biotech sectors — including industry associations.
Saskatchewan exported more than $3.5 billion in goods to China last year.
Over the past decade, China has invested more than $1 billion in Saskatchewan, creating nearly 14,000 jobs.