Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada's official trade finance agency, today emphasised its commitment to facilitating business for sub-Saharan Africa by opening a permanent representation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
As one of the largest and most progressive export credit agencies in the world, EDC has helped facilitate more than USD 7.4 billion in business between African and Canadian companies over the past five years, USD 235 million of which has been with Nigeria. EDC's financing is available to sub-Saharan corporations, project owners and banks that have, or are open to considering, business with Canadian companies, or their affiliates in the region.
In Nigeria, EDC will initially be focusing on facilitating business between Canadian companies and Nigerian enterprises in the extractive industries, infrastructure, power, transportation and ICT.
“With 70 years of international financing experience and annual global business volumes nearing USD 100 billion, EDC has the capital and experience necessary to undertake transactions of any size for sub-Saharan companies. EDC is investing in sub-Saharan Africa for the long term, and Nigeria will be one of our initial focus areas. We intend to become growth partners for the banks and companies with whom we develop relationships,” says Jean-Bernard Ruggieri, EDC's first Chief Representative, sub-Saharan Africa. “This is what sets EDC apart from other financiers, because we measure our success by the success of our customers. So in addition to offering innovative and reliable financing, EDC can serve as a supply-chain talent scout.”
Key sectors of interest for EDC as it expands into the broader African market include commodities, infrastructure, ICT, clean technology, transportation and agriculture. Light manufacturing and healthcare/life sciences are emerging sectors for EDC in the midterm. “Canadian companies have strong capabilities in all of these areas and can provide Africa with the goods, services, and expertise that are needed in developing these critical sectors” says Ruggieri.
EDC follows a very flexible model which allows it to deliver maximum value to partners and customers. “We can offer clients in both developed and developing markets access to financial capital that suits their unique circumstances” says Ruggieri “and we are well-equipped to meet the financial needs of sub-Saharan companies wanting to trade with Canada, whether they require single contract financing or funds for capital expenditure. And if African companies do not as yet have Canadian relationships, EDC can assist with sourcing suitable Canadian supply chain partners.”
EDC also prides itself on its multi-stakeholder partnership approach. “We work closely with a range of financial institutions such as South African and international banks, in addition to our efforts with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service across Africa, and our model often includes syndication structures with various financial services participants” says Ruggieri. “Africa has massive infrastructure demands and a growing loan market, and in these conditions EDC is looking to grow our total business in the market to USD 10 billion in the next five years.”
EDC also has permanent representations in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Lima, Mexico City, Monterrey, Santiago, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Moscow, Dubai, Istanbul, and Düsseldorf.
Hill & Knowlton Strategies Craig Atherfold [email protected] T + 27 11 463 2198 M + 27 83718 2003
EDC is Canada's export credit agency, providing financial services for companies that buy from Canadian companies, or those that have Canadian supply and services in their corporate value chains. EDC's financing can be used for capex and/or project finance requirements, either through bilateral or syndicated corporate facilities. Operating on commercial principles, EDC has a partnership-preferred philosophy to collaborate with private-sector financial institutions to share risk and create greater capacity for Canadian trade transactions. EDC is committed to Corporate Social Responsibility, and it takes into account the environmental and social impacts of its transactions.