Saskatchewan government to open German trade office

Saskatchewan government to open German trade office

Breadcrumb trail links Saskatchewan Sask. Politics

It will be Saskatchewan’s ninth trade office as the province looks to tap more international investment.

Premier Scott Moe addresses the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities annual convention at the Queensbury Convention Centre. Photo by TROY FLEECE / Regina Leader-Post Article Content

The Saskatchewan government is set to open a new trade office in Germany as it aims to tap investment from the so-called “manufacturing powerhouse.”

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In a Council Order signed earlier this month, the province revealed that it will establish the trade office in Berlin, making way for an official to oversee the day-to-day operations of the new store.

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In an emailed statement, a government spokesperson said Germany was chosen because it is the world’s fourth largest economy and is home to major trade shows that could benefit Saskatchewan’s agricultural manufacturing sector.

Trade Minister Jeremy Harrison was not available for an interview.

The ministry spokesman noted that recent world events, including the war in Ukraine, “highlighted the global need for safe and stable food and energy products, especially in the European Union.”

European countries, such as Germany, have been running low on gas supplies since the war began almost a year ago. Germany has relied heavily on Russian gas, but that country has cut off supplies as a retaliatory measure against Western sanctions.

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Premier Scott Moe said Saskatchewan and Canada could play a bigger role in providing Europe with needed energy, mining and agricultural products, arguing that Canada is seen as sustainable and reliable compared to other countries, such as Russia.

“The Saskatchewan Germany office will complement the activities of the Saskatchewan United Kingdom office in Europe,” the spokesperson said. “Our international presence continues to attract significant interest from global partners to our province.”

The German office will be Saskatchewan’s ninth trading point. The government has offices in Mexico, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, India, Singapore, Vietnam, China and Japan.

The province spent $12.4 million in 2022-23 to operate and support the network of offices. Some of this money went towards setting up the German office.

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The Saskatchewan NDP has previously argued the provincial government must show results for its travel and trade spending.

The province spent $359,000 on out-of-province travel as of September 2022, about $102,600 shy of the $462,500 spent in 2019. However, the government has yet to include costs associated with other major trips in 2022.

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“We need to be aggressive in pursuing foreign investment in our province, but we need to see results,” NDP Leader Carla Beck said in a statement, arguing Saskatchewan has “the worst job creation record in the country since Scott Moe five years became prime minister. ago.”

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“The current government is clearly not up to the job,” Beck said. “We need a government that will unapologetically go out and sell Saskatchewan to the world and get real results to benefit Saskatchewan’s people and communities.”

The province argued it was showing results.

The government spokesman said more than 50 delegations visited the province in 2022 to explore “increased investment, trade, immigration and partnership opportunities”.

It listed a number of memorandums, deals and student recruitment initiatives concluded by the offices.

The spokesman said exports are expected to reach a record $37.03 billion in 2021, up 25 percent compared to 2019.

Jason Aebig, the CEO of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, said the business community welcomes the additional trade offices.

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“There’s no question that when you have boots on the ground in markets like this, it facilitates the exchange of goods, relationships and opportunities between firms that are here and in firms that are there,” he said.

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