Federal diplomatic blunders not impeding Sask India exports, Moe says

REGINA – Premier Scott Moe says direct relationships with foreign governments are key to protecting exports, especially during these recent times of choppy relations with India. 

Saskatchewan now has nine international trade offices – including one in New Delhi, India – which the premier says have helped protect Saskatchewan exporters from trade barriers.

“Those offices are there to ensure that we have the relationships that – when there is a hiccup,  like there has been this past year in Indo-Canadian relations – that Saskatchewan is on the ground, and Saskatchewan has the relationships to ensure that our trade is not going to be impacted,” the premier says.

Saskatchewan’s nine international trade offices have helped protect Saskatchewan exporters from trade barriers, says the premier. Jeff Davis

“A prime example is the Saskatchewan-India trade relationship which is up 70 per cent year-over-year in a challenging time.”

Moe made the comments Tuesday during a keynote speech at Canada’s Farm Show Regina, which runs this week at Regina’s REAL District.

Canada-India relations became frosty in September 2023 after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that Indian agents were involved in the killing of alleged pro Khalistani-separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, Canada.

Relations remained cool until June 2024 when Indian PM Narendra Modi and Trudeau met briefly at a G7 summit in Italy, which signaled a resumption of dialogue.

Saskatchewan’s nine trade offices are located in China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said this “sub-national” strategy of communicating directly with foreign governments and businesses helps the province represent its message more clearly.

“You have to be there,” Marit says. “And the other thing is, quite frankly – and no offence to Federal officials abroad – they don’t know what’s going on in Saskatchewan”

Marit says India recently levied new tariffs on several pulse-exporting nations, and that Saskatchewan’s proactive diplomatic strategy may have helped the province avoid the same.

“I think it’s really evident in the fact that India did not put any tariffs on the pulse industry, which is predominantly from Saskatchewan,” Marit says,

“They did against other countries like Australia and the United States…but they didn’t bring anything against us … and that was very very important for us.

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