Canadian institutions, including EDC, will be post-recession role models, Siegel tells Vancouver Board of Trade



    VANCOUVER, June 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian financial system,
including EDC, will be a role model for other nations as they work to strike
the right balance between the public and private sectors in the wake of the
credit crunch, EDC President and CEO Eric Siegel told the Vancouver Board of
Trade in a speech today.
    "Canada's financial institutions have a lot to offer the world in terms
of a viable model to ensure that credit markets have the capacity they need,
and businesses can continue to grow and diversify, all within a framework of
responsible risk and oversight," said Mr. Siegel.
    "Our financial system - from banking to mortgages to export development -
is a well-positioned hybrid. Canada is the Prius of the financial world, at a
time when other nations are looking to ditch their gas-guzzling SUVs."
    In his speech, Mr. Siegel said that the credit crunch showed the world
what happens when market freedom and proper oversight are not held in balance,
and that this crisis is now forcing the world towards a model based on greater
cooperation - a model that has been developing in Canada for some time.
    "Canada was able to ramp up its response to the recession faster than
other nations because we already had the institutions and partnerships in
place, and EDC is an important part of this," Mr. Siegel said.
    "Given EDC's strong financial position, expertise with financial tools
and integrated relationships with private-sector financial institutions, we
were a natural fit to help the government address gaps in the domestic credit
market."
    Mr. Siegel emphasized that EDC's mandate, including its new domestic
powers, will continue to be carried out in a way that complements the private
sector.
    "That approach makes sense for EDC - our role is to share risks and bring
additional capacity to the market. And the fastest and most efficient way to
get credit into the hands of Canadian businesses is to partner with banks,
insurance and surety companies," he said.
    "In short, we are supplementing what the private financial sector can do,
not supplanting it."
    Mr. Siegel said Canadian businesses are well-positioned to take advantage
of the opportunities presented by economic recovery, but there is still work
to be done.
    "Even before the recession, we were lagging the G-7 in trade penetration,
and that's a big problem for a trade-dependent nation like Canada," he said.
    "We need to invest, train, plan and prepare to make sure we are in a
position not just to ride the coat-tails of global recovery, but to lead it."
    EDC is Canada's export credit agency, offering innovative commercial
solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international
business. EDC's knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 8,300
Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide
each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining, a recognized leader in
financial reporting and economic analysis, and has been recognized as one of
Canada's Top 100 Employers for eight consecutive years.




For further information:

For further information: Phil Taylor, Export Development Canada, (613)
598-2904, Blackberry: ptaylor@edc.ca


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