Export Development Canada (EDC) it is expanding its activities in China through the establishment of its second permanent representation in Shanghai.

“Our second base of operations in China’s financial centre and economically booming Yangtze River Delta region will help to enhance the presence of Canadian exporters and investors in one of the world’s most dynamic markets,” says Eric Siegel, chief operating officer of EDC. “EDC is acting upon an increasing flow of Canadian and international investments into the region, keeping pace with the evolving trends to better serve the competitiveness of Canadian companies.”

Winston Kan, chief representative for China, will assume the responsibility for the Shanghai representation. The Shanghai base will position EDC within the business capital of the Yangtze River Delta Region, which encompasses the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, fulfilling a timely expansion of EDC’s presence in China.

Prior to his representation in Shanghai, Kan served as the EDC representative in Beijing between 2004 and 2006. Wang Hui, who assisted Kan during his Beijing assignment, will now assume responsibility for supporting local customers and building strategic relationships in Beijing.

Kan will lead EDC’s business development strategy throughout China, which includes identifying and pursuing transaction opportunities through relationship development; networking with local banks, companies and intermediaries; collaborating with Canadian embassy and consulate general officials, local chambers of commerce and key industry associations; and providing enhanced market intelligence.

“China is a vibrant and diverse marketplace that is increasingly becoming integrated within the supply chain of global companies, and I am very pleased to be serving the interests of Canadian companies in this regard,” says Kan.

As the strategic importance of China to Canadian business continues to grow, EDC facilitated up to 25% of total Canadian export trade to China in 2005. Current key sectors for Canadian exporters and investors are telecom, building products and forestry, power, agri-food, automotive and consumer goods. EDC-supported trade with China rose to US$1.8bn in 2005, an increase of more than 35% over 2004.

Shanghai joins Beijing, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Warsaw, Rio de Janeiro, So Paulo, Mexico City and Monterrey as EDC’s ninth permanent representation.