Latin America continues to be EDC’s strongest Business Connections Program market, reporting $1.0 billion in connection financing and making 354 introductions to EDC customers in the region for 182 Canadian suppliers. This program and the connection financing solutions are discussed in more detail here.
In Mexico, targeted B2B and matchmaking efforts in the retail and consumer goods sectors generated international contracts and purchase orders for more than 20 Canadian companies. In Chile, EDC led a disruptive technologies mission to meet EDC’s Tier 1 mining clients and helped reduce “contact to contract” time for Canadian exporters from two years to as little as six months. We also continued to support CDIA transactions in the region.
EDC supported Canadian pension plans with their European investment activities through the provision of $1.9 billion in financing. Our rapid response teams guided exporters through political challenges in the regions, such as Brexit and heightened Saudi Arabian commercial/sovereign risk. The teams were also active in Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)-related awareness events in support of Canadian and European trade and investment.
We completed our first sustainability-linked loan structure in support of Canadian direct investment abroad, with key covenants tied to the borrower’s compliance with environmental metrics. We also leveraged our connection financing program to build greater awareness of Canadian supply capabilities through 11 targeted business connection events.
Asia Pacific remains an important destination for Canadian pension plans looking to deploy assets and diversify their portfolios in one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. In Australia, EDC supported Canadian direct investment abroad in the infrastructure sector through the provision of $863 million in financing. We also saw significant activity in the infrastructure and environment sector in India, where we provided $403 million in financing.
Our presence in China enabled us to build relationships with key actors in the agri-food sector. As a result, we completed EDC’s first foreign direct investment transaction in this sector for the construction of a $340 million infant formula plant in Kingston, Ontario, which will export all of its production to China.