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A SEIDO Day with the Chinese Consul-General

A unique aspect of the Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program's “SEIDO Visiting Consul-General Series” is the opportunity for training students to host high government dignitaries like Madam Yongfeng Liu, Consul- General of China to Calgary, and to practice their ambassadorial and trade assistant skills on behalf of the foreign official.

In an effort to involve local government and business community members, the Chinese Consul-General's visit to Saskatoon included meetings (arranged by SEIDO Student Officers) with Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, as well as the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce. SEIDO Student Officers Carolyn Aziz, Luke Coupal, and Sonja Shan also brought the Consul- General to visit His Worship Don Atchison, Mayor of Saskatoon, and arranged for Liu to visit many local economic authorities including Enterprise Saskatchewan, the Provincial Inter-Governmental Office, Canpotex (the world’s largest Potash exporter), and the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron.

“Our relationship with China is very important to me and the City of Saskatoon,” said Mayor Atchison. “We want to share our vision for a successful Saskatoon with potential business partners in China. That understanding is what will make this relationship work. As the mayor of Canada’s fastest growing city I am proud to share the success story with leaders and business people from all over the world. I am especially happy to see that China is taking a serious interest in our success and we look forward to finding ways we can both benefit from that relationship.”

“Throughout this experience I’ve met several members of the Saskatoon business community who have worked in China, including diplomats, entrepreneurs, and educational administrators,” said Aziz. “All of them have such an enthusiastic energy when it comes to increasing trade and relations with China, and it’s contagious! It really makes you want to be a part of it.”

After a farewell dinner, the SEIDO Student Officers took Madam Liu back to the airport and bid her farewell. Yet the staff is excited to know that the Consul-General will be back very soon, likely this fall, and the adventure will continue. “My special thanks to the students’ hard work and the close relationship between the Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program and the local government and business community. My visit to Saskatchewan was very successful,” said Liu, “and I understand it’s not easy to arrange so many meetings within such limited time but the students did a really great job. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to them and all others who’ve made my visit such a success.”

Liu’s visit was part of the SEIDO Visiting Consul-General Series, which brings ambassadors and consuls-general to visit Saskatoon, especially to University of Saskatchewan to discuss international economic issues with like-minded students. AS a final note, for her meeting with Saskatoon’s mayor, Mayor Atchison concluded, “The Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program has done a terrific job connecting students to business people and political leaders. These students work very hard to help facilitate these on- going visits and meetings, and it makes a huge difference not only for the student program but for those of us the community who see these students as our future leaders.”

* Please note this article has been updated to reflect the new name change of the “Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program” (“SEIDO”), from its former program name as the “Saskatchewan International Trade Officer Program” (“SITO”).

The Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program (SEIDO) allows university/college and high schools throughout Saskatchewan the opportunity build global business knowledge, related skills development, and training opportunities for a career in global business, international trade and development. For more information, please contact Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos (SEIDO Program Coordinator) at the Haultain Institute for Global Business Studies at or or by telephone at (306) 715-2260. Thank you.

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