The Government of Saskatchewan is on track to open new international trade and investment offices in India, Japan, and Singapore in 2021 and has now hired a managing director for each office. In addition, a new managing director has been hired for the office in China.
“Strong economic recovery will require a strong international presence and these offices will strengthen our trade relationships and help us bring safe, secure Saskatchewan products to the world,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Led by a team with considerable international experience, these offices will play a critical role in helping us strengthen trade relationships, support Saskatchewan businesses, grow our exports and attract new investment into our province.”
Saskatchewan export numbers remain strong, with October exports up 22.5 percent year-over-year, the highest percentage increase among the provinces.
The New Delhi office will be led by Victor Lee, who has over ten years of experience in international business development and foreign affairs. Prior to this appointment, Lee served as the Director, Trade and Investment – Asia Pacific, Government of Alberta, and Trading Manager – Energy and Mineral Resources, Mitsui & Co. (Canada).
India is the fastest-growing trillion-dollar economy in the world, with more than 1.3 billion people. Saskatchewan’s merchandise exports to India in 2019 were valued at approximately $775 million, a 23.2 percent increase from 2018. The top commodity exports to India in 2019 were potash, lentils, uranium, peas, chickpeas and wood pulp.
Paul Pryce will serve as Managing Director for the Tokyo office after serving Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for almost seven years as Principal Advisor to the Consul General of Japan in Calgary, where he was also responsible for Saskatchewan. Pryce has held a variety of roles with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Saskatchewan’s exports to Japan in 2019 were valued at approximately $1.1 billion, a 60.9 percent increase from a decade ago. The top commodity exports to Japan in 2019 were canola seed, wheat, barley and malt. Japan has the third-largest economy in the world, where Canada now has improved access to the market, with both countries being parties to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Singapore office will be led by Greg Eidsness, an international business development specialist with 15 years of experience in public and private sector organizations. Eidsness, originally from Swift Current, joins Saskatchewan from International Financial Consulting Ltd., where he led the firm’s business development and served as a consultant on economic development projects in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. He previously served as Director of International Market Development at the British Columbia Ministry of International Trade where he led market expansion strategies in Southeast Asia, Greater China, the United States and Europe.
The Saskatchewan office in Singapore will serve Saskatchewan’s interests in Southeast Asia, including the dynamic and fast-growing markets of Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. By locating Saskatchewan’s office in Singapore, the province leverages the country’s global and regional connectivity and its position as an international hub for business events, industries and investors. Saskatchewan’s merchandise exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2019 were valued at approximately $1.2 billion, making Saskatchewan the third-largest exporter among all provinces to the region. The top commodity exports from Saskatchewan to the region in 2019 were potash, wheat, wood pulp, peas and canola seed.
Winston Kan has been hired as Managing Director in the China office, located in Shanghai. Kan was most recently the Managing Director of the Government of Alberta Beijing Office where he led the trade and investment activities and managed the team of Commercial Officers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taipei. Kan has extensive and diverse experience in both the private and public sector, devoting some 28 years in Government, Clean Tech, Financial Services and Industrial Manufacturing, with a focus on Greater China and the Asia Pacific region.
China is Saskatchewan’s second-largest export market (after the United States) and remains a priority market for the province. Total exports to China in 2019 were valued at $3.1 billion and top commodities include potash, canola seed, peas, barley, wheat and wood pulp. In 2019, Saskatchewan was the largest Canadian agri-food exporter to China with agri-food exports valued at $2 billion.