Crowns helping Canadian business position for recovery, Siegel tells Canadian

TORONTO, Nov. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's unique model of public and private sector cooperation lessened the credit crunch and subsequent recession and is now playing a major role in positioning Canadian companies for recovery, Export Development Canada (EDC) President and CEO Eric Siegel told the Canadian Club of Toronto in a speech today.

"Canada had established public-sector capacity to engage with the private sector well before the financial crisis hit. As a result, we fared better than those countries that did not have this infrastructure in place," said Mr. Siegel. "Canada has shown the world a clear path to a more stable and secure financial sector through its Crowns."

In his speech, Mr. Siegel referred to the expanded role of Canada's Crowns through the recession as 'intelligent stimulus', noting that "it takes advantage of existing capacity, it's designed to work with the market and it has a built-in exit strategy.

"It's not a crutch for a limping market, it's physiotherapy - not only will we overcome the injury, we'll be stronger than ever," he said.

Mr. Siegel emphasized the importance of cooperation between the public and private sectors as a strategy for success. He pointed to the Business Credit Availability Program - a partnership between EDC, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and private-sector lenders and insurers. In just six months, he said, the program supported about $2.7 billion in business, assisting almost 6,000 Canadian companies.

"That's $2.7 billion in business that wouldn't have been possible without this partnership in place," said Mr. Siegel. "And we're not just talking about dollars - we're talking about saving existing businesses and jobs, and creating new ones. That's what we can accomplish by working together."

Mr. Siegel noted that these partnerships have led to strengthened relationships that will provide a competitive advantage for Canadian companies.

"So far this year, more than 1,500 Canadian businesses became EDC customers for the first time, and they have discovered new services that will become part of their financial strategies. This is a positive development for Canadian trade, as these services can help our companies to be bolder in taking their products and expertise to the world," he said.

"And we need to be bold. The strides we've made over the last year have positioned us to be able to make up for lost ground. Because even before the recession hit, Canada's trade penetration was lagging - a dangerous situation for a country where one in three jobs depends on trade."

He went on to say that EDC is taking steps, including expanding foreign representations in emerging markets, to help Canadian companies take on the challenge of global trade.

"We believe that our approach will help Canadian businesses to catch the wave of recovery in the places where it will begin: places like Brazil, India and China. And we believe that this approach will help Canadian businesses to thrive beyond the recovery and into the future," he concluded.

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 nine consecutive years.

SOURCE Export Development Canada

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Phil Taylor, Export Development Canada, Tel: (613) 598-2904, Blackberry:

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