Since 1944, EDC has been a powerful tool for the advancement of Canada’s international trade agenda, responding to change with change.
Business, like life, is about change. Anticipating it, responding to it and, of course, moving forward. In the eight years that I have served on the board of EDC, change has been a constant companion, and it has made for a fascinating journey. Incredible challenges—social, economic, geopolitical. We all know the list; it’s still happening around us today.
One of the most recent changes here at EDC has been the retirement of our Board Chair, Martine Irman. Her departure is the reason I have the honour of writing this message, as EDC’s Interim Chair, for the 2022 Integrated Annual Report.
It is in no small way a result of Martine’s leadership over the last four years that EDC continues to be an important force in building success for Canada’s exporters around the world. Her positive and passionate leadership has helped steer EDC through some of the most exciting and challenging of its 75-plus years of operation: the quadrupling of its customer base; responding to the cyclone of impacts of a global pandemic; and the launch of EDC’s most ambitious corporate strategy yet—a plan to help grow Canada’s exports by 60% over 10 years. A cross-section of EDC’s progress toward that goal is captured in the pages of this report, including: our focus on medium-sized businesses, the engines of Canada’s trade growth; the enhancement of our digital capabilities to simplify and speed delivery for our customers; and refocusing our efforts in sectors of Canada’s future, such as agri-food, clean technologies and advanced manufacturing.
Also in this report are highlights and stories of initiatives imperative to our goal to make trade more sustainable and equitable, such as EDC’s efforts to accelerate our performance in the areas of environment and climate, social equity, human rights and corporate governance. The range of measures EDC has undertaken are central to the organization’s efforts to help Canadian companies to not just grow their businesses, but to expand sustainably, making the right kind of impact here at home and abroad, and in doing so, using Canada’s progressive approach to trade as a competitive advantage in markets around the world.
Amid all this change that I describe, I’m happy to report that continuity will persist in one very important space—EDC’s executive leadership. At about the same time that we were saying goodbye to our Chair, we received confirmation that the tenure of EDC’s President and CEO, Mairead Lavery, had been extended for another two years—a clear sign of validation for both the organization’s direction and its leadership group from its sole shareholder, the Government of Canada. Speaking of which, I would also like to recognize the ongoing support of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. Minister Ng’s engagement in EDC’s mission has provided valuable validation of the organization’s direction and its progress.
Now, after being part of this journey for the last eight years, I am proud to add my voice to this chorus of endorsement. As you read these pages, I hope you’ll gain a better understanding of how Export Development Canada has earned this confidence. Since 1944, EDC has been a powerful tool for the advancement of Canada’s international trade agenda, responding to change with change. It’s been a privilege to be part of this journey, and it’s an honour to share this update on EDC’s latest efforts to have an impact in helping Canadian exporters find international success.
So long as change continues to be the constant companion of people working in international trade, the contents of this report should be assurance to all that EDC is changing with it.
Interim EDC Board Chair