According to Export Development Canada (EDC) President and CEO Eric Siegel, Canada’s export credit agency is working with more companies than ever. EDC today announced its combined financing and insurance volumes reached $17.4 billion for the first fiscal quarter of this year—nearly $1 billion more than the same period in 2008. EDC has taken on 728 new customers this year already, for an average of $275 million of new business every business day.
Siegel attributes the escalating demand for EDC’s services to the global economic slowdown and the resulting credit crunch. “The strong market demand for EDC’s financing and insurance continues despite a decline in Canada’s overall export trade, meaning that EDC is doing more, with more companies, than ever before,” he said in a statement.
EDC’s export trade business volume in emerging markets reached nearly $4.4 billion in the first three months of this year. More than $1.54 billion was undertaken in the high growth markets of Brazil ($252 million), Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) ($195 million), India ($553 million), China ($334 million) and Mexico ($210 million), all of which are priority markets for Canadian companies.
Siegel said, “Canadian exporters and investors are now diversifying their export markets at a greater pace than EDC has seen before, largely as a response to the slowdown in the U.S. EDC believes that this continued diversification will help Canadian companies capitalize on the eventual recovery faster than in previous downturns, and faster than their competitors in other countries.”
Broken down by sector, EDC’s business volumes were most concentrated in the extractive sector ($5.5 billion), infrastructure and environment sector ($3 billion) and the transportation sector ($2.8 billion).
Look for our editorial supplement, Canadians at Work, which will detail 50 international projects with Canadian involvement, in our September/October 2009 issue.