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Government Tables Response to Export Development Canada Legislative Review

(No. 379 - December 10, 2009 - 5 p.m.) The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today tabled in Parliament the government’s Response to the Legislative Review of Export Development Canada (EDC). The Response includes proposals to ensure EDC meets the current and future needs of Canadian companies.

“EDC plays a key role in the Canadian economy, and has been critical in helping Canadian businesses stay competitive through this period of economic uncertainty,” said Minister Day. “Following extensive consultations, the government concluded that EDC’s core mandate should remain unchanged so it can continue to support and develop the international competitiveness of Canadian companies by providing innovative financing and insurance services.”

The Response to the Legislative Review of Export Development Canada endorses many recommendations proposed by both International Financial Consulting Ltd., in the independent review tabled in February 2009, and by the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade in a report on that review tabled in June 2009.

Among the key points of the Response are:

  • EDC’s mandate—to support and develop Canada’s export trade and investment—will remain unchanged.
  • The government will propose amendments to the Export Development Act to grant EDC the authority to open offices abroad, where adequate facilities are not available within existing Canadian missions. Allowing EDC to open offices abroad will enhance its ability to serve Canadian companies.
  • The government will establish an advisory group on credit insurance to ensure the credit insurance industry remains competitive, and exporters can access the insurance they need.
  • The government will review EDC’s domestic financing and insurance activities to ensure the agency has the flexibility to meet the needs of Canadian businesses.

In Budget 2009, the Government of Canada temporarily expanded EDC’s mandate to allow exporters greater access to credit. This has allowed EDC to be more flexible in responding to the needs of Canadian companies, such as those in the forestry sector, during the economic downturn.

“The measures announced in Budget 2009 temporarily allowed EDC to bring additional credit capacity to the market,” said Minister Day. “That was a very important step to help EDC support our industries. EDC’s continued presence in the short-term export credit insurance market means Canadian businesses have the support they need through all of the business cycles, especially during these difficult economic times.”

In the first 11 months of 2009, EDC facilitated $69 billion in trade and investment and served 7,880 Canadian companies. In the forestry sector alone, EDC facilitated over $13 billion in exports and helped 519 companies across Canada.

The Government of Canada is required to review EDC’s legislation every 10 years. For the full text of the Response, as well as other information, please visit Response to the Legislative Review of EDC.

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A backgrounder follows.

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

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Backgrounder - Export Development Canada and the Export Development Act

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

EDC offers innovative commercial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC’s knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 8,300 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year.

EDC is financially self-sustaining, is a recognized leader in financial reporting and economic analysis, and has been named one of Canada’s top 100 employers by Maclean’s magazine for nine consecutive years.

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.