Export Development Canada (EDC) has agreed to provide financing of up to US$500mn a year to India’s Tata, with the aim of improving Canadian companies’ access to the industrial giant’s supply chain.

According to a joint statement, Tata companies’ worldwide operations already count over 1,000 Canadian suppliers, and it is expected that this agreement will help increase that number particularly in the SME segment.

EDC CEO Benoit Daignault explains: “The Tata group is a critical organisation within a key market for Canada – India – and the financing is a reflection of Tata’s importance to Canadian exporters. Equally important is Canada’s importance to Tata, with EDC’s financing helping them deepen their roots here at home and create new opportunities for Canadian companies.”

Tata has a presence in Canada through its global beverages, steel, consultancy services, chemicals, communications, technology and interactive operations, and employs around 3,000 staff in the country.

Additionally, Tata companies have invested over C$1.3bn (US$1bn) in Canadian operations over the past five years, including C$355mn in 2014 alone.

Madhu Kannan, member of the Tata Sons executive council, says: “The Tata group has had a longstanding and successful presence in Canada. EDC continues to be a very important partner for us and we are delighted to enter into this funding arrangement with them which would facilitate the expansion plans of Tata companies.”