EDC adding $3 billion in financial capacity, President says at Annual Public Meeting

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Export Development Canada (EDC) is
helping Canadian companies get through the recession by adding an extra $3
billion in financial capacity to the domestic market, President and CEO Eric
Siegel said today.
    Mr. Siegel delivered his remarks at EDC's third Annual Public Meeting at
Mississauga's International Centre, attended by more than 220 Canadian
business leaders, stakeholders and members of the public.
    "The quickest and most effective way for EDC to help accommodate the
credit needs of Canadian companies is to partner with experienced financial
institutions in Canada," said Mr. Siegel. "That's why we're working in
partnership with the private sector to share the risks and bring additional
capacity to the market."
    Mr. Siegel pointed to recent initiatives launched under EDC's new
domestic powers which will facilitate additional domestic credit, surety and
contract guarantees totaling $3 billion. This will allow private financial
institutions to do more for their customers and take on new business.
    Mr. Siegel said that, thanks to years of preparation in better economic
times, EDC has been able to step into an expanded role to help Canadian
companies through tough times, now that traditional credit has become a scarce
commodity. By the end of April, he noted, EDC had facilitated $22.5 billion in
trade and investment by Canadian companies, including 925 new customers. The
amount of business is greater than at the same time last year, the year when
EDC undertook the most business in its corporate history.
    Mr. Siegel also emphasized that EDC continues to develop its core
business - financial solutions for export sales, foreign investments and
supply chain management - which will continue to help Canadian companies
recover from recent economic turmoil by growing Canada's export base.
    "This credit crunch has made it clear that companies need to understand
the financial tools at their disposal," he said. "The more we can help
companies diversify their business opportunities, the less they are limited by
the conditions in Canada, the U.S. or any other single country."
    And while economic times are tough, particularly in U.S. markets, Mr.
Siegel pointed to positive signs that Canadian exporters and investors are
diversifying their export markets at a solid pace.
    "Our export business in emerging markets reached nearly $5.6 billion in
the first four months of this year," he said. "This will help Canadian
companies capitalize on the eventual recovery faster than in previous
downturns, and faster than their competitors in other countries."

    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: Media contact: Phil Taylor, Export Development
Canada, (613) 598-2904, Blackberry: ptaylor@edc.ca; For the full text of Mr.
Siegel's speech and more information about EDC's Annual Public Meeting, please
visit www.edc.ca

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