Sask. to hit 8% export growth

30 May 2013
The StarPhoenix
Saskatchewan will see eight per cent growth in exports this year before hitting a plateau in 2014, Peter Hall, vice-president and chief economist with Export Development Canada, predicts.
But the long-term outlook is very bright for the province, said Hall, who spoke to members of the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership.
“That (decline in 2014) has a lot to do with how the potash contracts are working out in our forecast for next year,” he said. “We have a six per cent decline in that particular forecast.
“This is not a comment on how Saskatchewan is going to do in the long term,” he added. “Long-term prospects for this province, and it doesn’t matter what industry you are looking at, are very, very positive. Our big problem is how are we going to facilitate that growth?”
Hall said there are strong indicators confidence is rising globally — short- and long-term bond rates are back to levels before the 2007 financial meltdown, and banks are lending again.
And the province’s biggest trading partner looks to be coming out of its multi-year funk, Hall explained.
The United States housing market is picking up momentum, a bellwether for economic growth. Consumer spending is going up while industrial capacity is being used up, leading to the need for investment.
Nationally, the EDC forecasts eight per cent export growth this year and five per cent growth in 2014.
Hall said Saskatchewan has to prepare for the growth coming our way.
“We will need more people, more capital coming into the province, more transportation infrastructure (and) higher productivity growth,” he said.
The province is better positioned than most other provinces because it has diversified its export market.
“In terms of diversification to emerging markets, Saskatchewan is No. 2 in Canada,” Hall said. “B.C. is the only province that is ahead of Saskatchewan.
“And growth to those emerging markets is far superior than the growth to our traditional markets.”

via Prosperity Saskatchewan

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