Export Development Canada entered its 75th year by continuing to act as a trusted partner to Canadian exporters, and helping them succeed in trade and grow the Canadian economy.

Last year, the country’s export credit agency supported more than 16,800 Canadian companies—86% of which were small- and medium-sized enterprises—doing business in more than 200 markets, which facilitated $102.6 billion in global business.

All told, that work supported more than 510,700 domestic jobs and generated almost $64 billion, or 3.1%, of the national GDP.

Focus on responsibility

EDC is focused on making sure its business—as well as that of its customers and partners—is done in a manner that can make Canadians proud.

“When done responsibly, international trade has the incredible capacity to generate wealth, create well-paying jobs and increase productivity across the globe,” said EDC president and CEO Mairead Lavery. “Note the word ‘responsibly.’ Because otherwise negative impacts can outweigh the positive.”

In that vein, EDC in 2019 continued to evolve and mature its practices in sustainability and responsibility, releasing climate change, human rights and financial crimes policies, and preparing a transparency and disclosure policy for release in 2020. Each of these bring EDC in line with international best standards, and in line with the expectations Canadians have for their export credit agency.

“There’s still work to do but, taken together, what we’ve done in this space over the past year allows us to take a more proactive and informed approach to doing business in a manner that fosters inclusive, safe and climate-resilient communities for us all,” Lavery said.

“Equally important is that by leading with international best practices, we can help Canadian companies integrate equally strong standards into their business and growth journeys.”

Focus on people and partners

EDC facilitated $2.5 billion in cleantech exports, a 19% increase year over year, and grew its commitment to helping expand opportunities for women. Through several initiatives, EDC facilitated $650 million in business in 2019 for women-owned and -led businesses.

The agency likewise began work last year on another under-represented and under-resourced segment of exporters, creating for the first time a position dedicated solely to supporting Indigenous exporters.

Throughout its first 74 years of operations, EDC has expanded and refined its lines of business, always with the goal of helping Canadian companies respond to international business opportunities—and navigate the threats—in order to support and develop Canada’s export trade.

When trade disputes resulted in a disruption to the canola industry, for example, EDC stepped in with an additional $150 million in commercial insurance limits to assist affected Canadian exporters.

The organization also successfully piloted the Trade Expansion Lending Program (TELP) with two major Canadian partners, the National Bank of Canada and RBC, serving 147 customers and facilitating $69.5 million in business. On account of the results of this pilot, EDC will be partnering with four more Canadian banks beginning in 2020.

The bottom line

EDC’s net revenue was stable year over year at $1.5 billion, but net income was down to $462 million from $830 million in 2018.

“Decreasing credit quality within our loan portfolio over the year led EDC to increase the amount of our provisions for credit losses. As a result of fluctuating market rates, we also recorded significant unrealized losses on a number of our financial instruments carried at fair value,” said EDC Chief Financial Officer Ken Kember.

More highlights

  • EDC’s financial solutions facilitated $12.7 billion in business conducted by 7,072 small- and medium-sized enterprises, representing a 4% increase in companies served over 2018.
  • EDC increased overall customers served by 28% year over year.
  • EDC facilitated $28.4 billion in business in 147 emerging markets, compared to $25.3 billion in business in 145 emerging markets in 2018.
  • EDC helped 333 women-owned and -led companies take their first steps toward expanding into new markets.
  • EDC entered a partnership with MaRS Discovery District to develop a tailored program providing advice and expertise for growing Canadian companies.
  • Since 2012, the organization has facilitated more than $9 billion in Canadian cleantech exports, maintaining its position as Canada’s single largest financier in the sector.
  • EDC also announced a $50 million Women in Trade Investments Fund to provide equity capital specifically designed to help Canadian women entrepreneurs.

About EDC

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.