Hind­ley ac­com­pa­nied Pre­mier Moe on trade mis­sion to In­dia

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Swift Cur­rent MLA Everett Hind­ley has re­turned from a sec­ond over­seas trade mis­sion in 2018 af­ter com­plet­ing a seven day trip to In­dia with Saskatchewan Pre­mier Scott Moe.

Hind­ley, who serves as the Leg­isla­tive Sec­re­tary for Trade and Ex­port Devel­op­ment, also ac­com­pa­nied Pre­mier Moe on a trade mis­sion to China in mid-septem­ber.

The first term MLA said this in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure is im­por­tant in en­hanc­ing trad­ing re­la­tion­ships, as In­dia ranks as Canada’s third largest trad­ing coun­try, be­hind only the United States and China.

“It’s im­por­tant to get out to coun­tries like this. When we were in In­dia, we had on more than one oc­ca­sion a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial or a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from and or­ga­ni­za­tion come up to the Pre­mier and say ‘thanks for mak­ing us a pri­or­ity and thanks for com­ing here.’ It shows a com­mit­ment from our prov­ince and it helps strengthen those re­la­tion­ships if they can see the Pre­mier of Saskatchewan has made it a pri­or­ity for him to travel there to meet with these of­fi­cials one-on-one, that car­ries a lot of weight when we are able to do that. Cre­at­ing a face-to-face re­la­tion­ship so that af­ter the trade mis­sion is done you’re able to pick up the phone or send and email and they know who they’ve met with. And I think it’s pretty im­por­tant to do that.”

The trade mis­sion fea­tured meet­ings from Novem­ber 26 to Novem­ber 30 with both gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the ar­eas, of po­tash, ura­nium, shar­ing in­no­va­tion, and agri-food ex­ports.

“It’s huge for us and that’s why it’s im­por­tant for us to be in these mar­kets,” Hind­ley ex­plained. “In In­dia they’ve got a pop­u­la­tion of 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple. And it ties right into three of the most im­por­tant strengths of our prov­ince which is food, fuel and fer­til­izer.”

“We’re there to help im­prove mar­ket ac­cess for Saskatchewan ex­ports into In­dia. Food is one of those key ex­ports.”

Saskatchewan has been Canada top ex­porter to In­dia for the past decade, with ex­ports val­ued at $1.15 bil­lion dur­ing 2017. Saskatchewan is also Canada’s largest agri-food ex­porter to In­dia. In 2017 Saskatchewan was In­dia’s largest sup­plier of peas and lentils.

While in In­dia they also raised the is­sued of tar­iffs on pulse crops.

“That was a key part of this trade mis­sion there to have some con­ver­sa­tions with the of­fi­cials in gov­ern­ment on the In­dian side as to where this par­tic­u­lar is­sue is.”

“It’s tough to say whether there’s go­ing to be any sig­nif­i­cant ad­vance­ments or im­prove­ments made on that par­tic­u­lar is­sue be­fore that time,” Hind­ley said of In­dia en­ter­ing into an elec­tion cam­paign in early 2019.

“But we were able to make our case, not just to say we want to find some sort of res­o­lu­tion on this. Saskatchewan’s been a long term trad­ing part­ner with In­dia, not just on pulse crops. Can­po­tex has been ship­ping po­tash to In­dia since 1972. Part of this trade mis­sion in­volved sign­ing a re­freshed MOU be­tween Saskpoly­tech and the Em­manuel Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion on nurs­ing train­ing.

“Our prov­ince shares a num­ber of things with In­dia, more than just trade. But the pulse is­sue is pretty sig­nif­i­cant.”

Hind­ley has on­go­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties af­ter these trade mis­sions though his du­ties as Leg­isla­tive Sec­re­tary for Trade and Ex­port Devel­op­ment.

“My role is to pro­vide some as­sis­tance on these mis­sions, but also to make sure that we’re do­ing some fol­low up be­tween our gov­ern­ments and some of the busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions we meet there, on a reg­u­lar ba­sis so that there’s things hap­pen­ing in be­tween these trade mis­sions and mak­ing sure we can make some im­prove­ments here on trade re­la­tions and cap­i­tal­ize on some op­por­tu­ni­ties for the prov­ince of Saskatchewan.”

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