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Under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), the government’s pro-export, pro-jobs plan, new markets around the world have been opened for Saskatchewan exports. These historic trade achievements will benefit hard-working Canadians in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada.
In just one year, the government has delivered on its GMAP commitment to eliminate tariffs and support Canadian companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and to boost exports, including through:
- the conclusion of negotiations and release of the complete text of the historic Canada-European Union trade agreement. The agreement will eliminate tariffs on virtually all of Saskatchewan’s exports. Saskatchewan is home to the most important grain-producing region in Canada, and the province’s exports to the EU were worth an annual average of $664.6 million between 2011 and 2013. When the agreement is fully implemented, over 95 percent of EU agricultural tariff lines and 100 percent of industrial product tariff lines will be duty-free. For example, EU tariffs will gradually be eliminated on grains, including oats, barley and rye, creating new and expanded opportunities for producers.
- the conclusion of Canada’s first free trade agreement in Asia with the landmark Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), which will come into force on January 1, 2015. Saskatchewan will see tremendous opportunities for export growth, given the complete elimination of South Korean duties on many Canadian products. For example, as of January 1, tariffs on 97 percent of Canada’s current agricultural exports will be eliminated. Saskatchewan’s canola and malt producers will benefit greatly from the elimination of duties on these products, which currently face duties of up to 10 and 269 percent, respectively.
Historic trade agreements require historic trade promotion, and under GMAP the Harper government is supporting workers and businesses in Saskatchewan and ensuring that SMEs have all the necessary tools to seize new opportunities and realize their full export potential.
Key elements of the trade promotion efforts include:
Go Global Export Workshops
Over the next several months, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, is holding workshops across Canada in collaboration with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and all the Government of Canada’s export support agencies. Under GMAP, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the Canadian Commercial Corporation have been aligning their activities, facilitating referrals, sharing market intelligence and information, and providing a whole-of-government approach to boost SME exports. Over 300 SMEs participated in Go Global workshops in 2014.
Minister Fast will be hosting a Go Global workshop in Saskatoon on February 6, 2015.
Regional Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) Activities
In 2014, the TCS’s Prairies and Northwest Territories Regional Office assisted 446 SMEs, providing them with on-the-ground international business support, including 1,062 targeted services, and connecting them to new business opportunities.
Trade commissioners have been embedded with public and private sector partners across Canada—including, in the Prairies and Northwest Territories region, Western Economic Diversification Canada, Manitoba Trade and Investment, the Canola Council of Canada, Industry Canada, Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership, BDC and Export Development Canada—so they may work closely with businesses to ensure the Government of Canada is responsive to their needs.
Export Development Canada (EDC)
EDC helped 82 Saskatchewan companies finance or insure $4.9-billion worth of international sales and investments. For example, EDC provided a single buyer insurance policy that allowed Silver Fern Honey Farms Ltd. to insure its export sales, covering the main buyer risks and providing its credit union with the comfort to lend against the receivables while creating the needed cash flow for the company.
Saskatchewan’s exports are expected to rise by 9 percent in 2014, followed by a 5-percent uptick in 2015. Energy and fertilizer exports will see robust export volume increases in both years. Benefiting from the strong oil price and lower value of the Canadian dollar, crude oil sales will fuel Saskatchewan’s export growth in 2014. In 2015, the fertilizer sector will be the province’s main growth driver as fertilizer prices increase from their current low level.
Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)
This year, CCC signed a $40-million contract with Canpotex Ltd. of Saskatoon to supply potash to the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation.
Attracting Job-Creating Investments in Saskatchewan
Significant investments were made in Saskatchewan in 2014 that created jobs and opportunities for Canadians. For example, Agrocorp International, an international trading and supply-chain management company based in Singapore, opened its $11-million high-speed pulse processing plant in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The plant has the capacity to handle 250,000 tonnes of grain per year.
Through the Invest Canada – Community Initiatives program, the Government of Canada provided a total of $78,500 to two Saskatchewan community organizations: the Saskatchewan Economic Development Association and Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority Inc.
As part of GMAP, the government attracts investment to Canada, benefiting hard-working Canadians and their families. In the 2013-14 fiscal year, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) worked with provincial, territorial and municipal investment partners to facilitate 146 successful investment projects worth $3.65 billion and create over 5,500 new jobs within Canada.
Opening Markets and Supporting Saskatchewan Businesses Abroad
In 2014, Minister Fast led 13 trade missions to 20 countries. Trade missions connect Canadian businesses, especially SMEs, with new opportunities to boost their exports, which creates jobs, growth and prosperity across all regions of Canada, including Saskatchewan. Minister Fast was joined by representatives of Canopex, a potash marketing firm, on his trade mission to China in November.
Minister Fast encouraged Saskatchewan-based businesses to take advantage of the Enterprise Canada Network. Provided in partnership with EDC and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, this network provides online access to more than 30,000 business profiles and information on opportunities in the European market to help Canadian companies take full advantage of the historic Canada-EU trade agreement
Under GMAP, the Harper government committed to developing comprehensive strategies in key sectors. Strategies released this year that support Saskatchewan businesses include the International Education, the Extractive Sector and the Corporate Social Responsibility strategies, and an export-oriented Defence Procurement Strategy.
Minister Fast invited businesses in Saskatchewan to accompany him on his first trade mission of 2015. This trade mission to South Korea, which will take place from February 8 to 13, will enable businesses to take full advantage of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement and benefit from on-the-ground support from the Government of Canada.
“This year, 2014, has been the most successful year for international trade in Canadian history, benefiting hard-working Canadians in Saskatchewan and in every region of the country. Under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, we will continue our vigorous trade promotion efforts to boost our exports.
“In 2015, we will continue to focus on the real priorities of hard-working Canadians: creating new jobs and prosperity.”
– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
Quotes from Saskatchewan Stakeholders
Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
“Rio Tinto welcomes the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the easing of Canadian restrictions on European Union investment in the uranium mining sector, as we believe policies that promote trade and foreign investment enhance the prosperity of Saskatchewan and other regions of Canada.”
– Alfredo Barrios, CEO, Rio Tinto Alcan
“The European Union is one of the world’s most important markets and continues to be a key market for Western Canadian grains and oilseeds. While the EU is already a major destination for agricultural products, strengthening our economic ties with the Europeans will further increase market access, clearly benefiting farmers, the grain sector and the broader economy in Western Canada.”
– Wade Sobkowich, Executive Director, Western Grain Elevator Association
“CWB has been marketing prairie farmers’ top-quality products worldwide for more than 75 years. Today, the European Union is a key export market for Canadian wheat and barley. An ambitious trade agreement with the EU will boost sales of world-class Canadian wheat, creating jobs and prosperity for hard-working farmers and their families across Western Canada.”
– Ian White, President and CEO, Canadian Wheat Board (CWB)
“CanMar Grain Products Ltd. has evolved to become a world leader in roasted flax seed products, and much of that success is directly related to the export opportunities we’ve taken advantage of in key markets abroad. A trade agreement with the European Union will help our company solidify and expand our presence in the European market, which will help us create new jobs and enhance the prosperity of our current employees. This agreement presents an exciting set of prospects for the grain industry as a whole.”
– Cecil Werner, President and CEO, CanMar Grain Products Ltd.
“Quality wheat is a source of great pride to Canadians. Our agriculture products are already well-known in the European market. Eliminating tariff barriers on agriculture products will not only increase sales, but will also increase recognition of Canada’s high-quality products.”
– Jim Wickett, Chair, Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association
Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement
“This is excellent news for Canadian beef producers. The ability to get every piece of the animal to the highest value market is what maximizes prices at the farm gate. I particularly like that we will be getting an aggressive phase-out on offals that get more value in South Korea than they do here in North America.”
– Dan Darling, Vice President and Foreign Trade Chair, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
“This announcement is good news. In 2012, Canadian grain exports to South Korea were $479 million. Today, they are less than $100 million. Now, with the FTA announcement, we can look at rebuilding our presence in the South Korean market.”
– Wade Sobkowich, Executive Director, Western Grain Elevator Association