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Saskatchewan: Means "Opportunity"

Aug/Sep 07
Presently, thanks to a powerful combination of factors - both man-made and natural - Saskatchewan opportunity involves expanding and enhancing the province's business interests to maximum effect, and sharing in the benefits.

New Strengths
There has always been a very strong agricultural tradition in Saskatchewan, but new strengths have evolved and emerged. Saskatchewan is now the world leader in uranium production, and produces a third of the world's potash, with strong interest in new mine development.

Saskatchewan has also created a solid base in technology and scientific research and development, in fields from animal vaccination and bioengineering to alternative methods of petroleum extraction. This is anchored in research parks and universities that are home to world-leading facilities like the Canadian Light Source synchrotron. This also complements Saskatchewan's rapid and growing emergence as a life science powerhouse, uniquely equipped to take advantage of increased interest in a sector that includes nutrition, health and wellness, and biofuels.

And the word is spreading. The April 2007 edition of Foreign Direct Investment magazine, published by the UK's Financial Times, ranked over 100 small cities in North America according to their desirability in business development and investment. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan's largest urban center, was in the top 10 of these cities - and was at the top of its class for economic development. This was preceded by KPMG's 2006 Competitive Alternatives report, which identified Saskatoon as the lowest-cost jurisdiction among 21 featured cities from the North American Midwest.

Advantages for Business
One of Saskatchewan's greatest advantages is its youthful population. Out of all Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan has the highest percentage of people under 20 years old. This resource of young people will give the province a tangible competitive advantage in the future, and will in fact be a major part of the engine that drives the provincial economy.

Private investment figures are another indicator that businesses are already voting with their dollars. The level of private investment in Saskatchewan has more than doubled since 1991 - a good indicator of the climate for economic growth. Economic forecasters expect Saskatchewan to set a new record for total investment in 2007.

One of the biggest forces behind these figures is Saskatchewan's Business Tax Reform initiative, based on the biggest business tax cuts in the province's history. The cumulative value of these cuts, announced in 2006, amounts to $620 million over four years and makes Saskatchewan one of the most competitive places to do business in Canada.

Canada has set a goal to become one of the most innovative and skilled countries in the world. Saskatchewan is innovative by nature and, as such, has a vital contribution to make in achieving this goal, with one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. Already, it is a province recognized around the world for its innovation in key sectors, its growth, its research capability - and its opportunity.

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