Canadian companies grew their exports by 10 per cent in 2011 in a challenging global economic environment. Contributing to that figure was the “international business facilitated by EDC, which rose by 22 percent as 7,787 Canadian companies tapped our programs,” said Stephen Poloz, President and CEO of EDC (Export Development Canada).

The value of Canadian exports and investments into emerging markets facilitated by EDC grew by 26 per cent in 2011, according to its year-end results released a few days ago.

Emerging markets now account for a record 30 per cent of trade that EDC facilitates for Canadian companies and their foreign buyers. Of note, EDC customers undertook $8.5 billion in business in China, $2.8 billion in Brazil, $2.5 billion in Mexico, $2.4 billion in India and $1.9 billion in Turkey.

“Adding trade growth in emerging markets to our strong trade with the US is critical if we are to build Canada’s economic resilience and realize our potential as a trading nation,” Mr. Poloz added.

The biggest emerging market growth came from trade with the greater Asian markets. Exports and investments by Canadian companies to these markets that were facilitated by EDC grew by nearly 60 per cent in 2011, accounting for 24 per cent of the total trade facilitated by EDC.

“Last year, EDC helped Canadian companies make more investments abroad than ever before, 40 per cent more transactions over last year alone,” said Mr. Poloz. “EDC customers used a combination of direct loans and insurance coverage to help them make these investments, which helped them lower their costs, access large international supply chains and remain globally competitive.”

Under EDC’s temporary domestic powers, EDC provided $3.1 billion in commercial solutions in Canada for 285 Canadian exporting companies in 2011; including $2.5 billion in direct financing for 96 companies, more than $454 million in domestic bonding and $146 million in domestic credit insurance. This brings the total amount that EDC has provided in Canada to $9 billion since March 2009, facilitating the global business needs of 569 Canadian companies.

EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering financial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC finished the year 2011 with a net income of $645 million.