Hindley accompanied Premier Moe on trade mission to India
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.”