Canada’s export credit agency has opened its first permanent representation in Western Europe in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Export Development Canada (EDC) is hoping to better serve Canadian exporters operating in the region.
In 2009, EDC facilitated almost C$8.5bn (US$8.3bn) in transactions in Western Europe with around 1,400 Canadian companies.
The bulk of the business was in the information and communication technology, resources and transportation sectors.
“The Dusseldorf opening is the next logical step in supply chain development between Canadian and European companies, creating partnerships at the anchor company level that can grow into joint projects in emerging markets,” notes Benoit Daignault, senior vice-president, business development at EDC.
Daignault adds that the sectors which EDC are most optimistic about are in light manufacturing, sub-segments of the medical industry, auto, rail and aerospace.
“One of my objectives will be to develop partnerships with European companies and banks interested in working with emerging market financial institutions.”
Canada’s exports to Western Europe averaged about C$40bn (US$39.3bn) annually over from 2005 to 2010.
Klaus Houben, EDC’s new senior regional manager will work at the Dusseldorf office.
He brings nearly three decades of experience in the banking industry, most recently working as a consultant specialising in corporate finance.
Before that, Houben was a member of the board of directors of PB Firmenkunden, the corporate banking unit of Deutsche Postbank.
“The recession and credit crunch have seen a strong increase in demand from European companies and private sector banks alike for commercial ECAs like EDC to fill gaps and bring additional capacity to existing private sector transactions,” Houben says.
“Given that demand, one of my objectives will be to develop partnerships with European companies and banks interested in working with emerging market financial institutions, so that we can work together in creating opportunities for European and Canadian companies in these high growth regions,” he adds.
The Dusseldorf office joins EDC’s offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Lima, Panama, Mexico City and Monterrey.