February 10, 2009 (2:10 p.m. EST)
No. 38

Report on the Legislative Review of the Export Development Act Tabled in Parliament

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, yesterday tabled in Parliament a report on the 2008 Legislative Review of the Export Development Act. The report, which includes 29 recommendations, was prepared by independent consultant International Financial Consulting Ltd. (IFCL).

"This report makes important recommendations that can modernize Export Development Canada's mandate to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow," said Minister Day. "Our government is taking significant steps to help businesses get access to financing, so they can continue growing and creating jobs. Canada's Economic Plan includes action on some measures highlighted in this report by expanding Export Development Canada's ability to provide financing and insurance in the domestic market on a temporary basis."

After being selected by a competitive bidding process, IFCL conducted research and held public consultations across Canada in the first nine months of 2008. Now that the EDC Legislative Review has been tabled in the House of Commons, it will be referred to the appropriate Parliamentary committees.

"I look forward to further discussion on the report's recommendations," added Minister Day. "Given this current period of tight credit, the review of the Export Development Act is timely. EDC plays a key role in growing Canada's trade and providing Canadian companies with the financing and risk management services they need to stay globally competitive."

The report meets a statutory obligation to review Canada's Export Development Act every 10 years and to provide a report to Parliament. The report's recommendations identify ways to improve EDC's ability to meet the evolving needs of Canadian business in a globally competitive economy.

The complete text of the report on the Legislative Review of the Export Development Act is available on the website of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000

Backgrounder

Export Development Canada and the Export Development Act

Export Development Canada (EDC) is Canada's official export credit agency. It is mandated to support and develop, directly or indirectly, Canada's export trade and Canadian capacity to engage in international trade and respond to international business opportunities. EDC has offices in 15 cities across Canada and 15 representatives abroad to assist Canadian exporters and investors.

In 2008, EDC provided services to over 8,000 Canadian companies - 82 percent of which were small or medium-sized entreprises - in 184 markets internationally. EDC, directly and working in partnership with the private sector, facilitated Canadian trade and investment activity valued at over $85 billion.

EDC was originally established as the Export Credit Insurance Corporation in 1944. The Corporation's scope of activity was broadened in 1969 with the enactment of the Export Development Act. Under amendments introduced in 1993, the government was required to review the legislation in 1998 and every 10 years thereafter. This review is conducted by the Minister of International Trade, in consultation with the Minister of Finance.

During the 2008 review, an independent consultant - International Financial Consulting Ltd. - undertook research and consultations to prepare the report for the Minister of International Trade. The report considered four themes:

  • The changing global economy and its impact on Canada's international competitiveness;

  • EDC's capacity to meet Canadian business needs;

  • EDC's capacity to provide financing and risk management services; and

  • EDC's place within government.

The recommendations in this report consider the long-term needs of Canadian business and were based on views gathered prior to the financial crisis and economic downturn.