EDC reports $ 17 billion in new business in first quarter

    OTTAWA, April 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Export Development Canada (EDC) today
announced its combined financing and insurance volumes reached $17.4 billion
for the first fiscal quarter of this year, an increase of nearly $1 billion
over the same period in 2008.
    "Already this year, EDC has taken on 728 new customers for an average of
$275 million of new business every single business day," said EDC President
and CEO Eric Siegel of the increased business activity in the first three
months of this fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2009.
    Mr. Siegel attributed the escalating demand for EDC's services to the
current global economic slowdown, which has resulted in a significant credit
    "The strong market demand for EDC's financing and insurance continues
despite a decline in Canada's overall export trade, meaning that EDC is doing
more, with more companies, than ever before," said Mr. Siegel.
    He added the current demand for EDC's programs and services is likely to
continue given market conditions.
    Mr. Siegel said EDC's export trade business volume in emerging markets
reached nearly $4.4 billion in the first three months of this year. More than
$1.54 billion was undertaken in the high growth markets of Brazil ($252
million), Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) ($195
million), India ($553 million), China ($334 million) and Mexico ($210
million), all of which are priority markets for Canadian companies.
    "Canadian exporters and investors are now diversifying their export
markets at a greater pace than EDC has seen before, largely as a response to
the slowdown in the U.S. EDC believes that this continued diversification will
help Canadian companies capitalize on the eventual recovery faster than in
previous downturns, and faster than their competitors in other countries."
    Broken down by sector, EDC's business volumes were most concentrated in
the extractive sector ($5.5 billion), infrastructure and environment sector
($3 billion) and the transportation sector ($2.8 billion).
    EDC's efforts in the auto sector have been significant, having
underwritten more than $1.025 billion in business volume in the auto sector
overall in the first quarter of 2009. The primary EDC product used by the auto
sector is Accounts Receivables Insurance (ARI), which totaled $706 million
through March 31, 2009.
    Since mid-December 2008 through March 31, 2009, EDC has provided an
additional $287 million in coverage to Canadian parts suppliers who sell
directly to the Detroit Three: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. This
increase in coverage facilitates approximately $1.15 billion in sales volume
by auto parts suppliers.
    EDC is also a key player in providing credit insurance to the forestry
sector, with active relationships with approximately 80 per cent of the major
exporters of the industry. EDC served 446 forestry companies for a total
business volume of $2.06 billion in the first quarter of 2009.

    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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