2018 highlights from Export Development Canada
In 2018, Export Development Canada took on a bigger role in the Canadian trade ecosystem, helping more Canadian companies than ever before while also working to maintain its place as an industry leader in the areas of risk management, corporate sustainability and responsibility, and fostering a passionate workforce.
Trade is a key driver of Canada’s economic growth, accounting for more than 60% of the national GDP, and EDC exists to help grow and develop the country’s export trade. In 2018, the organization’s work on that front facilitated C$105 billion in exports, foreign investments and trade development activities, and supported the equivalent of 489,000 Canadian jobs.
“Our focus at EDC is simple: we are here to help every Canadian company go, grow and succeed internationally. Doing that is not always easy, but we’re here to help businesses navigate the challenges. Our results from 2018 clearly show our efforts are paying off for Canada,” said Mairead Lavery, who became EDC’s President and CEO on February 5.
“There are many different ways we can support exporters, but perhaps the most important way is to meet companies where they are in their exporting journey – whether they’re thinking about it, just starting out or have been doing it for many years.”
EDC has put a sharp focus on just that, deliberately moving to meet the varied needs of exporters at specific points of the journey. Dovetailing a broader range of services reflective of those needs with EDC’s core offerings – financing, equity, insurance and bonding – helped boost the number of customers served, many of which were micro- and small-sized businesses. Year-over-year, 2018 saw a 40% increase in the number of customers served, from 9,400 in 2017 to more than 13,000 in 2018.
Many of the new customers in 2018 were companies that benefitted from an innovative range of services including country risk ratings, sector outlooks, and webinars. EDC’s enhanced partnerships with Canadian banks, on the other hand, allowed for greater support to companies pursuing international opportunities; compared to 2017, the Export Guarantee Program helped 30% more companies, mainly small- and medium-sized, access working capital through their banks to fuel their international growth.
The steps we took towards increasing our overall impact were no small feat, considering the unprecedented challenges exporters faced in a global marketplace teeming with complexities and new risks. This environment of uncertainty, however, won’t be unique to 2018; it is the new reality Canadian exporters will face for the foreseeable future, which is why EDC’s work always keeps a keen eye on the bottom line.
“Given that EDC is financially self-sustaining, a strong bottom line is critical to being able to continue supporting companies effectively in the long-term. We are proud to say we accomplished that once again in 2018,” said Ken Kember, Senior Vice-President of Finance and Technology Group and Chief Financial Officer.
“Moreover, our consistent record of profitability along with a strong capital position has enabled us to declare a dividend of $1 billion to our sole shareholder, the Government of Canada.”
The organization’s strong financial position is imperative to fulfilling its mandate and supporting Canadian exporters. Equally important, however, is how that business is done.
To that end, in 2018, EDC initiated a public review of its Environmental and Social Risk Management policies, became the first global export credit agency to announce support for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and started to report publicly on its climate-related risks and opportunities.
While proud of the achievements reached in 2018, there is an awareness at EDC that there is much more to do. The untapped potential in this country is vast and, recognizing that, the Government of Canada set an ambitious agenda in its 2018 fall economic update to diversify trade and increase overseas exports by 50 per cent by 2025. EDC has shown it is ready to play a major role in achieving this target – in a progressive and sustainable way – and truly move the needle on Canadian trade.
Financial Highlights from 2018:
- Finished the year with more than $69 billion in total assets and $1.5 billion net revenue.
- Provided a record C$2.1 billion in support for cleantech companies.
- Supported more than $16 billion in Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA) – a 12% increase over 2017 – to help Canadian companies gain access to new customers and supply chains around the world.
- Served 105 women-led and women-owned businesses with credit insurance, financing, and financing guarantees – enough to facilitate $400 million in business.
- EDC served 6,768 small- and medium-sized businesses with its financing products, helping support CAD $13.8 billion in business.
Additional Highlights from 2018:
- Opened new offices domestically, in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. and Sherbrooke, Que., as well as two new international representations in Atlanta and Chicago.
- Won a spot on Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the 10th year.
- Named best Export Credit Agency by Trade & Export Finance.
- 100% of employees received financial crimes training.
- More than 1,100 employees volunteered a half-day in support of 53 charities in 12 communities across Canada and in eight regional representations around the world.
- Supported 1,174 students through scholarships and experiential learning opportunities.
- Made 936 introductions through EDC’s Business Connection Program, which allows Canadian customers to take advantage of EDC’s deep understanding of the needs of major international buyers and get “connected” with those buyers.
Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. As international risk experts, we equip Canadian companies with the tools they need – the trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and connections – to grow their business with confidence. Underlying all our support is a commitment to sustainable and responsible business. To help Canadian businesses facing extreme financial challenges brought on by the global response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has expanded EDC’s domestic capabilities until December 31, 2021. This broader mandate will enable EDC to expand its support to companies focused domestically.
For more information and to learn how we can help your company, call us at 1-800-229-0575 or visit www.edc.ca.