OTTAWA—Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s export credit agency, in 2017 backed more than $100 billion in exports, foreign investment and trade development activities, while serving 9,398 companies—the largest number of companies served in EDC’s 73-year history.
“Two years ago we adopted a new and ambitious strategy for increasing our relevance among Canada’s exporters and we’re seeing results,” said EDC President and CEO, Benoit Daignault.
What makes the record results more impressive is that they happened in the same year that EDC did major retooling of its operations.
“We’re now better positioned to help Canadian SMEs get the solutions they need to grow into international champions,” said Mr. Daignault. “We’re also better placed to help companies of all sizes find growth through avenues like direct investment abroad and foreign affiliate sales, and by finding new connections and gateways to major global supply chains.”
EDC’s new customer count includes just over 1,000 new ‘knowledge customers,’ businesses that benefited from EDC’s services like country risk ratings, sector outlooks, and how-to webinars.
“Canadian companies need to be able to adapt and evolve, and they need a partner who can help them manage risk and support them through change,” said Mr. Daignault. “That’s why EDC is reshaping itself.”
Among EDC’s key results in 2017:
• $1.5 billion in support for cleantech companies.
• Two Green Bonds issued totaling $1 billion (one bond of US$500 million, and one of C$500 million), the proceeds of which go towards EDC’s portfolio of green assets
• $1.3 billion in EDC’s export guarantee program, a risk-sharing solution that EDC provides to the bank of an exporter.
• Supported more than 500 Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA) transactions
All these numbers add up to Canadian companies growing their impact abroad as well as within Canada. As a trading nation, with 60 per cent of our GDP dependent on trade, success abroad translates to more competitive businesses and a stronger economy at home. And, while EDC was able to accomplish record results in 2017, it also maintained a strong bottom line.
“EDC is ramping up today to help more companies than it ever has before, but it is equally important that the corporation maintain its strong financial position so we can continue providing effective support to companies over the long-term,” said Ken Kember, Senior Vice-President, Finance and Technology Group and Chief Financial Officer. “We achieved that balance in 2017, finishing the year with CAD 60 billion in assets and CAD 1 billion in net income. We will also be paying a substantial dividend to the Government of Canada, our shareholder, in the amount of CAD 969 million.”
In 2017 EDC created an international growth capital team, opened new domestic representations in Saskatoon and Charlottetown, and a new representation in Sydney, Australia. The organization also opened its first overseas standalone financing hub office, in Singapore, which in 2017 underwrote 13 loans for a total of CAD 728 million in financing.
“It’s been a year of near-term achievement while we made important investments in the future,” said Mr. Daignault.
EDC’s business focus targets three key areas:
Facilitating Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA)
Total value of Canadian foreign investment transactions that EDC helped facilitate grew 16 per cent to CAD 14.3 billion, a 30 per cent increase in the number of transactions in support of CDIA, reaching 508.
Helping Canadian companies explore new markets (Diversification)
While roughly 70 per cent of all Canadian goods and services exports are destined for the U.S. market, the proportion of EDC’s financing and business facilitated in the U.S. in 2017 was approximately 40 per cent. The remaining majority was facilitated outside of the U.S. market, which highlights EDC’s important role in diversifying Canadian trade
Creating opportunities by connecting Canadian companies with foreign buyers (Connections)
EDC led 20 matchmaking events in 2017, engaging more than 100 foreign buyers and almost 450 Canadian suppliers. EDC develops relationships with large foreign buyers with supply chain opportunities that match up well with Canadian capabilities. These foreign companies procured from more than 1,600 Canadian exporters in 2017 (up from 960 in 2016)
EDC released highlights of its 2017 corporate results today following a recent meeting of the Board of Directors. A complete Annual Report will be released in the second quarter.