Sask goes to Philippines for workers, Vietnam for students and Bayer to fight climate change

Saskatchewan sign
Saskatchewan signWS file photo

The Province of Saskatchewan says its globetrotting missions to import students and workers and fight climate change are paying off.

During the final three months of 2023, Saskatchewan's international office network facilitated 22 trade and investment missions, including visits to Singapore, the Philippines and the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said the "international engagement" was producing results.

"Last year, we exported over $50 billion worth of products around the world. This means prosperity here at home with over 22,000 new jobs created in the last year. The two are directly linked and that's why we're going to continue to work hard to engage and create opportunities around the globe."

Economic Development Regina partnered with the Government of Saskatchewan on multiple inbound hosting and outbound international missions, including London, Warsaw and most recently COP28 in Dubai.

During COP28, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) formalized cooperation between the Government of Saskatchewan and German biotechnology giant Bayer.

The MOU will see the province and the global life science company, partner on exploring sustainable agriculture technologies, with an ultimate goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions in farming. This will include work in digital farming, smart farming and precision farming.

“This announcement is very exciting for our ag-tech sectors and will help build and protect our farming communities,” Premier Scott Moe said. “We’re very pleased that Bayer is interested in exploring Saskatchewan’s innovation capabilities. Together, we can help create new solutions for global food security and sustainability.”

Head of Strategy and Sustainability of Bayer’s Crop Science division Frank Terhorst also welcomed the announcement.

“Climate change, increasingly stressed ecosystems and a growing world population call for a transformation of agriculture to become regenerative. We need to produce more with less while restoring more,” Terhorst said.

“Innovation and technology are key to achieving this and we are delighted to partner with Saskatchewan to shape an agricultural future that will benefit growers and the environment.”

A Saskatchewan labour recruitment mission to the Philippines in December led to 1,400 job interviews and more than 39,000 job applications. This effort also prompted 1,000 anticipated nominations for permanent residency through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program.

Saskatchewan's Vietnam office supported education fairs and events on behalf of the Ministry of Advanced Education in Vietnam that welcomed more than 6,000 people and saw participation from the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Prahba Ramaswamy welcomed the efforts.

"Saskatchewan's commitment to fostering international partnerships not only creates more opportunities for our members and businesses on the global stage, but also positions Saskatchewan as a leader in sustainable agriculture and energy solutions. Additionally, the commitment to attracting global talent to address our labour market needs is both strategic and encouraging."

The closing months of 2023 also saw letters of intent signed between the Saskatchewan Research Council, the University of Regina and the Petroleum Technology Research Centre, with Khalifa University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi.

"These partnerships highlight why Saskatchewan continues to be a global leader in sustainable agriculture and energy solutions," the government said.

The City of Regina played host to the 2023 Pacific Northwest Economic Region Economic Leadership Forum November 14 to17. The event brought together local, provincial and state leaders in both public and private sectors for in-depth discussions on key economic subjects.

The province said more than $1 billion in goods were exported to eight separate markets in the first nine months of the fiscal year and a total of $41.3 billion had been exported as of October 2023.

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