EDC plans $10b business growth agenda for Africa

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map of africa-positivewww

Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s official trade finance agency, yesterday, announced plans to grow its total business in Africa to $10 billion in the next five years.

For effect, the global corporate financier is opening a permanent representation in Johannesburg, South Africa, as part of its commitment towards facilitating business for sub-Saharan Africa.

EDC’s first Chief Representative, sub-Saharan Africa, Jean-Bernard Ruggieri pointed out in a release made available to The Guardian that “Africa has massive infrastructure demands and a growing loan market, and in these conditions, EDC is looking to grow our total business in the market to $10 billion in the next five years.”

As one of the largest and most progressive export credit agencies in the world, EDC has helped to facilitate more than $7.4 billion in business between African and Canadian companies over the past five years, $235 million of which has been with Nigeria.

EDC’s financing is available to sub-Saharan corporations, project owners and banks that have, or are open to considering, business with Canadian companies, or their affiliates in the region.

In Nigeria, EDC will initially be focusing on facilitating business between Canadian companies and Nigerian enterprises in the extractive industries, infrastructure, power, transportation and ICT.

Ruggieri explained that “with 70 years of international financing experience and annual global business volumes nearing $100 billion, EDC has the capital and experience necessary to undertake transactions of any size for sub-Saharan companies. EDC is investing in sub-Saharan Africa for the long term, and Nigeria will be one of our initial focus areas. We intend to become growth partners for the banks and companies with whom we develop relationships.

“This is what sets EDC apart from other financiers, because we measure our success by the success of our customers. So in addition to offering innovative and reliable financing, EDC can serve as a supply-chain talent scout.”

Key sectors of interest for EDC as it expands into the broader African market include commodities, infrastructure, ICT, clean technology, transportation and agriculture. Light manufacturing and healthcare/life sciences are emerging sectors for EDC in the midterm.

“Canadian companies have strong capabilities in all of these areas and can provide Africa with the goods, services, and expertise that are needed in developing these critical sectors.

“We can offer clients in both developed and developing markets access to financial capital that suits their unique circumstances says and we are well-equipped to meet the financial needs of sub-Saharan companies wanting to trade with Canada, whether they require single contract financing or funds for capital expenditure. And if African companies do not as yet have Canadian relationships, EDC can assist with sourcing suitable Canadian supply chain partners,” Ruggieri said.

He added that EDC is working closely with a range of financial institutions such as South African and international banks, “in addition to our efforts with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service across Africa, and our model often includes syndication structures with various financial services participants.



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