EDC welcomes Government of Canada's response to the Legislative Review of its

OTTAWA, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Export Development Canada (EDC) today welcomed the Government of Canada's response to the legislative review of its mandate and operations, which acknowledged the "critical role" the Crown corporation is playing in facilitating Canada's capacity to compete and succeed internationally.

"This strong endorsement by the Government ensures EDC is better-positioned to provide Canadian companies with the financing and risk management services they need now and in the future," said Eric Siegel, EDC President and CEO.

"We appreciate the efforts of the Government, our partners and, of course, our customers in assisting with this review, which was made all the more timely by the recent economic volatility."

The Government's response notes that during the review global credit conditions deteriorated significantly and EDC "played a critical role helping businesses stay competitive through this period of change and uncertainty."

The response, tabled today in Parliament, outlines the Government's support for EDC's mandate and endorses several key recommendations made by an independent consultant, International Financial Consulting (IFC), which conducted the review for the Government. The response also outlines the key recommendations made by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which reviewed the consultant's report and issued its own report.

The Government said in its response that "EDC's important role in responding to the financial crisis has reinforced the key recommendations provided by the consultant and the Senate Committee."

    The Government has announced it will:

    -   Provide EDC with the legislative authority to open foreign offices,
        thereby providing Canadian companies with greater access to EDC
        services internationally;

    -   Maintain EDC's role in the short-term export credit insurance market,
        ensuring that Canadian companies -in particular SMEs - continue to
        have access to credit insurance; and

    -   Assess how EDC has used the temporary flexibility to provide access
        to credit in the domestic market under Canada's Economic Action Plan,
        and consider whether regulatory amendments are required to enable EDC
        to play a longer term role in providing services to companies engaged
        in integrative trade.

"Canadian companies will benefit from a robust and growing export credit insurance market. EDC remains committed to working with the private sector to grow this market in Canada, including partnering with them to strengthen their ability to serve their customers," said Mr. Siegel.

"These recommendations give us the flexibility to serve the international business needs of Canadian companies in a changing and challenging trade environment," he added.

EDC's legislative review is a legal requirement under the Export Development Act. Every 10 years the Minister of International Trade, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, must initiate a review of EDC's mandate and activities. The last review was initiated in 1998 and concluded in 2001 with amendments to the Export Development Act.

To access the Government's response, the reports prepared by IFC and the Senate Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee, and EDC's own submission to the review, click http://www.international.gc.ca/commerce/edc.aspx?lang=eng.

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 have been named 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: ptaylor@edc.ca

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