top of page

India on the Rise: Peter MacArthur Visits Saskatoon and Discusses the Rising Tiger

SEIDO Student Officers from the Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program (SEIDO) had a unique opportunity to learn about India as the third largest destination for Saskatchewan’s products when Peter MacArthur, Director-General, Foreign Affairs of Trade and Development Canada, visited Saskatoon and offered a series of lectures on India’s role in the Saskatchewan economy, business opportunities in India, and even careers in Foreign Service.

In its effort to increase student interest in international trade, the University of Saskatchewan’s Hanlon Centre for International Business Studies offered 10 complimentary tickets for students to attend the STEP event on March 10, 2014 at the Radisson Hotel. Half of the tickets were scooped up by SEIDO students. Veronika Vent, one such student, said, “The STEP event definitely opened my mind on how competitive India is in the international trade, and learning that puts India on my list of countries to watch out for.”

MacArthur joined several local Saskatchewan business people in a unique Doing Business in India roundtable, an event hosted and organized by the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) and the Canada-India Business Council. He and other roundtable participants like Lionel La Belle, president of STEP, emphasized STEP’s and Saskatchewan companies’ efforts to understand the Indian market. Saskatchewan has been exporting energy, food, potash, and uranium to India for decades.

MacArthur emphasized that the agency aims to hit $15B in terms of exports to India. He dispelled the common knowledge of what economic export is, and asserted that Canada exported $1B of pensions as investments to India. He also discussed the current situation and opportunities to be found in education, tourism, retail, research and development, and infrastructure. MacArthur also explained how within his role at the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) he aims to fight market failure in India due to lack of network, resources, and guidance through strategic objectives. Among the services he mentioned were developing relationships, business engagement, bilateral framework, and branding.

Mona Taylor, Senior Trade Commissioner of Canadian Trade Commissioner Services – Saskatchewan Region, talked about the role of TCS in an afternoon chat on campus organized and hosted by student officers in the Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program. She said, “Canadian trade commissioners working at our diplomatic and consular mission in India provide the on-the-ground knowledge and networks to help Canadian firms, particularly SMEs, overcome market failure barriers. They are able to provide market intelligence, assessments and introductions to Canadian firms in direct response to particular industry interests whether they be joint ventures, sales, foreign direct investment in India or attracting job creating Indian investment to Canada.”

Among the programs TCS is implementing is the National Education Strategy program, which is aimed at “combining the brainpower of Canada and India.” The University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia are among the first to set up liaison offices in India as part of this strategy.

The SEIDO Program, in collaboration with Taylor, made that afternoon chat an opportunity where MacArthur could engage University of Saskatchewan about Canada-India trade and opportunities. Western Canada is more open to Asian market, and Taylor underlined Saskatchewan’s part in this relationship. “Saskatchewan is more than wheat fields, and it has a lot to offer,” she says. MacArthur also asserted that strong evidence of India’s economic growth garnered support from the Canadian government. “India is improving slowly but surely.”

Ken Pillipow, another SEIDI Program student who attended the afternoon discussion, sees good opportunities out of Saskatchewan-Indian trade. “India,” he says, “offers Saskatchewan a trade partner seeking the same resources, found in abundance locally. With India projected to become the largest country globally, the opportunity for Saskatchewan exports stand to grow.”

* 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”).

India on the Rise: Peter MacArthur Visits Saskatoon and Discusses the Rising Tiger

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.

bottom of page