When the company you work for has reached an important milestone, it’s natural to reflect on the accomplishments.
There’s no doubt that Export Development Canada, which turns 75 years old this month, has its share of achievements, starting with a proud history of helping tens of thousands of Canadian companies find exporting success around the world. In 2018 alone we helped more than 13,000 companies do business in more than 160 countries. The vast majority of these were small enterprises (a segment crucial to the success of Canada’s economy), and about a quarter of our customers were exporting to fast-growing, emerging markets. Our customers’ exports and investments in 2018 totaled about $105 billion, and we estimate this business contributed approximately $67 billion to our country’s GDP and helped sustain 488,637 Canadian jobs.
That’s just one year’s work. All told, over its 75-year history, EDC has helped support well in excess of one trillion dollars in Canadian exports and investments and worked with tens of thousands of Canadian companies to find international success.
All of that is something to be proud of. But my question as President and CEO is this: What more do we need to do in order to ensure that the next seventy-five years are even better than the first?
In other words, how do we make sure that EDC still counts in the future?
But my question as president and CEO is this: What more do we need to do in order to ensure that the next seventy-five years are better than the first?
Part of the answer to that question can be found in the work we’re doing today. EDC is committed to growing its impact for Canadian companies. We’re expanding our reach into new segments and sectors. We’re also increasing our presence across Canada and around the world, with new national offices and more foreign representations, to build better overseas networks while deepening our understanding of Canadian companies’ capabilities and needs here at home.
Another way EDC intends to make a difference is in how we’re serving Canadian companies, maintaining the highest standards of ethical, sustainable and responsible business practices. This year we have reshaped our policies that govern EDC’s conduct regarding human rights and our impact on climate. We know that Canadians, our stakeholders and our customers will accept nothing less.
Looking back on our journey, there are two groups of people I must recognize. The first are our many dedicated employees who over the years have worked so hard to make EDC the company it is today.
The other group I must recognize are Canada’s exporters. They are the real heroes of the EDC story. They’re the people who are taking the risks, growing their businesses and expanding Canada’s economy.
EDC is there for them when they need us. That’s our purpose, and our privilege. We’ve been doing that for 75 years now, and it’s our plan to keep on doing it for another 75.
You can count on that too.