It hasn’t started construction yet, but the Saskatoon World Trade Center (WTC) is already creating international business relationships.
A delegation from the WTC in Harbin, China arrived in Saskatoon Monday afternoon to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Bridge City’s centre, and visited Crop Production Show at Prairieland Park Tuesday.
The MOU with the Saskatoon WTC is geared towards expanding the agricultural business relationship between Saskatchewan and Heilongjiang province, which Harbin is the capital of.
“The latitude (of Saskatchewan) is in the same area as Heilongjiang province, so the agricultural environment is very much the same,” Harbin WTC Director Steven Lo said.
“We think we have a lot to learn from this area.”
Harbin — a city of 10 million people — is located in northeastern China, an area known as the China-Russia-Mongolia Economic Corridor. According to a background document provided by the Harbin WTC, the city and surrounding province is known as the “premier center” for agricultural products in China.
Lo told reporters their short trip to the Crop Production Show had been productive, and they’re already talking about business relationships with Sask. businesses.
Asked what the ultimate economic impact could be from the partnership between the two WTCs, Lo said it could reach into the billions of dollars.
“It’s very hard to estimate, the potential is limitless,” he said.
Saskatoon WTC consultant Don Atchison introduced the delegation to several business owners at the show.
He said the developing relationship is exactly why the Saskatoon WTC is being built.
“It offers the potential for more partnerships,” Atchison said.
“You think about it, we’re in 89 countries and over 320 cities. This is just one example of what can happen.”
The Saskatoon WTC is planned to be a nine-storey building at the corner of 22nd Street and 3rd Avenue, featuring nearly 120,000 square feet of office space.
The privately-funded $50 million project is expected to open its doors in 2019.