Economy Minister Travels to India on Investment Mission
Saskatchewan’s Economy Minister Steven Bonk will be in India during the coming week to strengthen the province’s trade links with one of Asia’s largest markets and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Bonk’s trip, which takes place from November 11–17, involves meetings with a comprehensive range of Indian business interests either engaged in or considering economic activities and investments with Saskatchewan. These include the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber, the India Pulse and Grain Association, and various other investor groups and private sector companies.
“Any increase in our trade and exports to India reinforces our relationship with one of the world’s biggest customers of Saskatchewan-produced goods,” Bonk said. “Our Saskatchewan Plan for Growth includes the goal of doubling the value of our total exports by 2020, and India has a vital role in contributing to our achievement of that objective.”
One of the priorities of Minister Bonk’s trip will be raising awareness of Saskatchewan’s strategic importance to India as a major source of imported agriculture products. The Government of India recently announced an immediate duty of 50 per cent on pea imports and a 20 per cent tariff on wheat imports, including all such shipments already en route to the country.
Saskatchewan exports to Asia increased from $2.3 billion in 2005 to $8 billion in 2016, making Asia the most important emerging export market for the province. Saskatchewan’s total exports in 2016 were $26 billion, with India being the province’s third largest destination. Exports to India were $1.5 billion for that year, posting a growth rate of 272 per cent over the course of the preceding 10 years. In 2016, Saskatchewan exported $1.1 billion of pulse crops to India.
India recently announced plans to build ten new nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 7,000 megawatts, more than doubling the country’s current output derived from nuclear power. Saskatchewan—recognized as a long-term, stable source of uranium and the world’s second largest producer—is working with India on opportunities for uranium export and trade development under the Nuclear Co-operation Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of India that came into force in 2013.