Saskatchewan Government Relations

Saskatchewan Government Relations

October 25, 2005 15:52 ET

Saskatchewan Government Relations: Strategic Partnerships in Agriculture, Energy and Research Pursued in China

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 25, 2005) - Premier Lorne Calvert and Industry and Resources Minister Eric Cline wrapped up their Team Saskatchewan meetings in Beijing with key government and industry officials in such sectors as agriculture, energy, minerals, film production and university research and development. They are there to put Saskatchewan's interest in new economic partnerships on the map with senior Chinese decision-makers.

"This economic mission to China came at the right time, following immediately after Chinese President Hu's visit to Canada and his agreement with Prime Minister Martin to make our bilateral relationship into a Strategic Partnership," Calvert said. "Senior people here seem to have heard that message, and we've discovered a real desire to work with Saskatchewan to expand investment and trade in key sectors that are our competitive strengths."

In their meeting with the Chinese Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Premier Calvert and Minister Cline pressed for accelerated negotiation of new bilateral market-access protocols on beef, cattle, alfalfa seed and new crop varieties, and for Chinese tariff parity between imported canola seed and soybeans. They also agreed to work more closely with China on such issues as two-way investment in value-added agri-food production, agro-forestry,livestock genetics, and research and development on agriculture-related health, safety and quality assurance issues.

In a subsequent meeting with COFCO - the main Chinese importer of wheat and barley from the Canadian Wheat Board - Calvert and Cline lent the province's support to an enhanced relationship between the two agencies and explored COFCO's interest in sourcing other agri-food products from Saskatchewan in the future.

Saskatchewan's excellent long-term relationship with Sinochem - China's main potash importer - and exploration of new areas for possible future collaboration with that company in its other business lines, including chemical fertilizers, energy and pharmaceuticals, were the subjects of another meeting in Beijing.

Calvert and Cline also met with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which accorded Saskatchewan high priority as a future strategic partner in energy-related investment, research and development and professional training. Minister Cline pursued energy and other Chinese investment opportunities in Saskatchewan further in his meetings with the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission.

"We are being strongly encouraged by China to ramp up our investment and trading partnerships across key sectors in Saskatchewan," Cline said. "I am very keen to begin following up on what we've learned here with the Saskatchewan business community, as I think there are some very exciting new opportunities for us in and with China."

Premier Calvert also signed two Memorandum Of Understandings (MOU) facilitated by the University of Regina with the CNPC in energy and the National People's Congress in public administration, and he and Minister Cline presided over the signing of a new MOU between the University of Saskatchewan and the Beijing Institute of Technology.

Calvert now heads to Tokyo while Cline travels to Kazakhstan for the final legs of their Team Saskatchewan mission to Asia.

Contact Information

  • Saskatchewan Government Relations
    Jennifer Redston
    Industry and Resources, Regina
    (306) 787-1691