Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s official trade finance agency says it will focus on facilitating business between Canadian companies and Gha-naian enterprises in the extractive industries (particularly oil), agricultural equipment, infras-tructure, power, transportation and ICT.
EDC has already participated in loan funding in several of these sectors.
As one of the largest and most progressive export credit agencies in the world, EDC has helped facilitate more than $7.4 billion in business between African and Canadian companies over the past five years, $964 million of which has been with Ghana.
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.
“With 70 years of international financing experience and annual global business volumes nearing USD 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 Ghana will be one of our initial focus areas,” said Jean-Bernard Ruggieri, EDC’s first Chief Representative, sub-Saharan Africa in Accra.
He said the finance agency intended to become growth partners for the banks and companies with whom “it develop relationships”.
Mr. Ruggieri said: “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.”
He emphasised EDC’s commitment to facilitating business for sub-Saharan Africa by opening a permanent representation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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,” said Mr. Ruggieri.
EDC follows a very flexible model which allows it to deliver maximum value to partners and customers. “We can offer clients in both developed and developing markets access to financial capital that suits their unique circumstances,” said Ruggieri “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.”
EDC also prides itself on its multi-stakeholder partnership approach. “We work 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,” said Mr. Ruggieri.