Building A Strong Economy Through Trade And Investment
The 2020-21 Provincial Budget provides funding to increase trade, attract investment and improve competitiveness to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and build a strong Saskatchewan economy.
The Ministry of Trade and Export Development (TED) Budget includes $4.2 million in new funding to increase international engagement, including support for three new international trade and investment offices. The three new international offices will be located in Japan, India and Singapore. The international offices will play a significant role in achieving the goals set out in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan to increase the value of exports by 50 per cent and grow private capital investment to $16 billion annually by 2030.
The new funding will allow the province to have an office presence and staff on the ground in key international markets. Officials in these offices will focus on diversifying markets, connecting Saskatchewan businesses with investors and customers and establishing ongoing relationships.
“In 2019, Saskatchewan companies significantly increased exports to markets like Bangladesh, India, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and the European Union through increased engagement with our trading partners around the world,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Continuing to strengthen our presence internationally will be critical to our economic recovery and to meeting the aggressive trade and investment goals we have set in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan.”
The TED Budget also includes $1.5 million to advance pipeline projects that will increase market access for Saskatchewan’s energy products. The Pipeline Projects Assessment Committee will administer the funding. Budget 2020-21 also fulfills the Growth Plan commitment to create a new Saskatchewan Chemical Fertilizer Incentive (SCFI). This program will encourage investment by providing a 15 per cent tax credit for new investment that will grow the sector.
The provincial government is also extending the Manufacturing and Processing (M&P) Exporter Tax Incentive. The incentive is available to companies involved in manufacturing, processing or the creative industry and generate a minimum of at least 25 per cent of revenues through exports. The program provides tax rebates for companies to hire incremental employees or additional head office employees. The program previously ended on December 31, 2019, and the extension will run to December 31, 2022.
In addition to the M&P Exporter Program and the new SCFI, 2020-21 Budget maintains the incentives that have been critical to Saskatchewan’s successful approach to economic growth, including the Saskatchewan Value-added Agriculture Incentive, the Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive (Patent Box Program) and the Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive.
A strong economy requires building a strong labour force. That is why, through the Immigration and Career Training (ICT) Budget, the provincial government continues to support programs and services to help employers develop, recruit and retain workers and to help individuals prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. This includes apprenticeship training, the Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant, support programs for newcomers, Adult Basic Education, Employability Assistance for Persons with Disabilities and the Provincial Training Allowance.
The ICT Budget also includes $578,000 for Foreign Qualification Recognition (FQR), an increase of $325,000 (129 per cent). Additional funding was secured through the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition program and will enable more opportunities for internationally trained professionals to gain Canadian work experience. The FQR budget will build stronger career pathways for internationally trained professionals in Saskatchewan.
In addition, the Workforce Development budget of $20.8 million, an increase of $1.3 million, will support a variety of programs and services for individuals to address barriers to employment and successfully develop a career in Saskatchewan. These programs and services include vocational assessments, career counselling, job readiness supports, academic upgrading, basic skills training, job coaching and other individualized employment related supports.
Through these programs, the 2020-21 Budget will help to achieve the goals in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan to increase the population to 1.4 million people and create 100,000 new jobs by 2030. It also supports the actions in the Growth Plan to develop Saskatchewan’s labour force and grow the population by keeping more young people in Saskatchewan and increasing immigration to the province.
“We have seen the resilience of Saskatchewan people and businesses throughout the unprecedented challenges over the past few months and the economic indicators, such as exports and job numbers, show that Saskatchewan is in a stronger position than many other jurisdictions to recover from this pandemic,” Harrison said. “This budget will build on that momentum to build a stronger workforce, a stronger business environment and a stronger Saskatchewan.”