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Tuesday, 10 November 2015 10:11

Canadian Finance Agency Deepens Operations in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 10, 2015 (This Day) -- Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada's official trade finance agency, has opened a representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa as part of its commitment to facilitating business for sub-Saharan Africa.

As one of the largest 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. Nigeria has benefitted about $235 million.

Africa has massive infrastructure demands and a growing loan market, and in these conditions EDC is looking to grow its total business in the market to $10 billion in the next five years.

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.

Speaking on the development, first Chief Representative, Sub-Sahara Africa, Jean-Bernard Ruggieri, said: "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."

According to him, this what sets EDC apart from other financiers, because it measures the success by the success of its customers.

"So in addition to offering innovative and reliable financing, EDC can serve as a supply-chain talent scout," he added.

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 mid-term.

"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," Ruggieri said.

He explained that 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 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," he said.



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