Mexico and Canada are part of the T-MEC along with the United States . However, for the Canadian province of Saskatchewan it is not enough and they are looking for a closer and stronger bilateral relationship , which is why they have already opened an office in Mexico City.
“ Trade with Mexican companies is growing. That is why it was very important to open an office here, in Mexico City . We see it as an opportunity for both of us,” David Marit , Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture , told Expansión in an interview.
Saskatchewan is in southern Canada, bordering the US states of Montana and North Dakota.
Minister Marit was in Mexico last week, where he visited Coahuila and CDMX to have meetings with businessmen from the agricultural and energy sectors.
The Canadian official assured that they are willing not only to do business, but also to share the technology they have developed in both branches and to learn how business is done in the country.
He recalled that the previous two years, due to the pandemic, issues related to food safety and sustainability were brought to the fore.
“The meetings we have had have been productive to learn how they do business in Mexico, as well as their needs, but also to show what we do in Saskatchewan,” he said.
What products are they most interested in?
The products that are entering Mexico the most are canola and its derivatives such as oil and flour; also wheat and we are seeing an increase in the market for lentils and peas.
Between 2020 and 2021 our exports to Mexico increased by 30%. We see an opportunity to open the market to other commodities.
What do you think of the Mexican policy of transgenic foods?
It is an issue that has to be resolved internally. However, meetings with business and government representatives at different levels are taking place. Farmers have to deal with weather, market and other risks, so that uncertainty is added on the side of government policies.
We hope there is a solution because, at the end of the day, people are looking for high-quality, safe food.
What can Saskatchewan learn from Mexico and Mexico from Saskatchewan?
Synergies can be achieved not only to share knowledge and experiences with regard to planting food, but also in raising livestock.
Saskatchewan was able to share the technology they have developed in planting at the University of Agriculture, which has allowed them to develop grains that are resistant to lack of water and unfavorable weather conditions for crop growth.
The purpose is, in an economy of scale, to ensure that something that works in Mexico can be applied in Saskatchewan and vice versa.
In Saskatchewan, for example, they sow with the zero tail technique, which consists of planting without plowing the land between one season and the next, without disturbing the soil, thus preserving the nutrients of the previous harvest, nourishing the soil. That is the technology that we can share with other countries.
How to bring Mexico and Canada closer together?
Between Mexico and Canada is the United States; however, thanks to technology, which has advanced over the last two years, it is easier to stay connected and achieve a closer bilateral relationship.
Another way to be more connected has to do with reaching agreements, such as the one signed between Mexico and the University of Saskatchewan regarding student exchange.
What plans are there for the office in Mexico?
Depending on the result of the work carried out from now on, the possibility of increasing the staff will be analyzed, currently three people work, as well as opening more offices in other cities in Mexico.
We are doing things right, we have already had meetings with Bimbo and Trimex, two of the largest millers in the world.
Saskatchewan is more than agriculture, we have rare elements, oil, potash (mineral salts).
What plans do you have in the oil sector?
We have one of the largest technologies in oil and natural gas exploration; we fear zero emission companies in the oil recovery process.
They also seek to increase their exports, with a production of 500,000 barrels per day.
Regarding the extraction of crude oil, Canada is the first country in North America that, instead of using water, injects CO2 into the subsoil to obtain oil.
It is a technology that they are willing to share with Mexico and the United States. When they started with this technology, it took them 4-5 years to implement it. Now that the technology is available, application times are shorter.
What do you think of the T-MEC two years after its entry into force?
The Saskatchewan government has supported it because we are an exporting province and it means a lot, also for imports, so that the free flow of goods is not impeded.
There is a good relationship between Canada and Mexico, between the provinces and between the provinces thanks to the T-MEC.