I wanted to take some time today to reach out to you about the current situation facing us all: Dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.

As CEO of Export Development Canada (EDC), I understand this is a challenging time. The global economy is facing significant shocks. Trade flows and supply chains are being disrupted. Companies are being forced to make very difficult choices.

I have one message for you today—EDC is here to help Canadian exporters navigate these exceptional times. In fact, this is why we exist: to offer expert advice as well as insurance and financial support, in both good times and bad.

When we faced similar economic challenges in the past—through the 2008 financial crisis, for example—EDC was there to provide the liquidity and support to help Canadian exporters weather those difficult times.

EDC President and CEO Mairead Lavery

Last week, I was interviewed by BNN about what we were witnessing and what our customers were telling us. I emphasized it then, and I want to reiterate now, that at EDC, we have the solutions, flexibility and capacity to help you get through this. This is our purpose as Canada’s export credit agency.

You might have heard that very message on Friday, March 13, when the Government of Canada announced a stimulus package with an additional $10 billion provided by Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada through the Business Credit Availability Program. We are working in collaboration with our federal partners and Canadian financial institutions to help minimize the impacts on Canadian businesses.

Like all companies, we also have had to consider how best to continue operating amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, while also protecting the health and safety of our employees and partners. As a result, we are implementing a series of measures as of Monday, March 16, which prioritize virtual meetings over in-person ones, as well as other initiatives.

Regardless of the manner in which we engage with you, you can continue to expect the same responsiveness and support that you have come to expect.

We are facing extraordinary times. Yet I have all the confidence in the world that we have the flexibility and capacity at EDC to meet the challenges ahead and help you and your company brave those challenges too.

I urge you to contact an EDC trade advisor to find out how we can support you. You can reach them by emailing tradeadvisor-conseiller@edc.ca, calling 1-888-220-0047 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, or submitting an inquiry online. 

On behalf of everyone at EDC, I wish you, your families and loved ones continued good health.