Closing Canada's trade culture gap: EDC CEO talks about Canada's future



    TORONTO, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Eric Siegel, President and CEO of Export
Development Canada (EDC) today called for the federal and provincial
governments, industry and the financial sector to invest in effective
partnerships to elevate Canada's trade competitiveness.
    Mr. Siegel addressed the growing gap between Canada and the rest of the
world in promoting its own trade culture during a speech at the Economic Club
of Toronto.
    "Over the years I have seen Canadians get a lot better at trade. I am
here today to say that I am afraid we have to get an awful lot better. There
are real danger signals out there, and they concern me deeply," said
Mr. Siegel. "We may be growing, but not nearly enough. Not in comparison to
what the rest of the world is doing. It's not just India and China, who get
all the media attention, that are passing us by. We're also being outpaced by
our traditional competitors in the U.S. and the rest of the industrialized
world."
    The speech, entitled "What the Future Holds for Canada's Trade", examines
the importance of trade to economic growth, Canada's place in global trade and
what Canada needs to do to regain its competitiveness. Involved in 12 per cent
of Canada's trade annually, on average, EDC is active in all areas of Canada's
trade. Mr. Siegel said that governments, private industry, the financial
sector and EDC need to look at four key areas where Canada needs to invest to
improve its sliding trade competitiveness. These are:

    
    - improving Canadian education and skills related to trade;
    - celebrating, supporting and learning from Canada's key global
      performers;
    - doing a much better job of branding and promoting Canada abroad; and
    - getting more Canadian companies involved in trade.
    

    Mr. Siegel has been active in Canada's trade finance sector since 1979.
Mr. Siegel's remarks are available online at
http://www.edc.ca/english/mediaroom_speeches.htm.

    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 nearly 7,000 Canadian
companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year.
EDC is financially self-sustaining, is a recognized leader in financial
reporting and economic analysis, and has been named one of Canada's Top 100
Employers for seven consecutive years.




For further information:

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


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