Canadian Firm Plans Multi-sectoral Mega Investment in NigeriaBusiness, Latest News Saturday, October 31st, 2015
By Eric Ojo
Export Development Canada (EDC), the Canadian official trade finance agency has expressed its commitment to making Nigeria the hub of its multi-sectoral long term investment plan in sub-Sahara Africa.
EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, providing financial services for companies that buy from Canadian companies, or those that have Canadian supply and services in their corporate value chains. EDC’s financing can be used for capex and/or project finance requirements, either through bilateral or syndicated corporate facilities.
As one of the largest and most progressive 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, $235 million of which has been with Nigeria.
In addition, 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.
Jean-Bernard Ruggieri, EDC’s first Chief Representative, sub-Saharan Africa who disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday in Lagos, said EDC will initially be focusing on facilitating business between Canadian companies and Nigerian enterprises in the extractive industries, infrastructure, power, transportation and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
“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”, he said.
Ruggieri also assured that 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.
“This is what sets EDC apart from other financiers, because we measure our success by the success of our customers. So in addition to offering innovative and reliable financing, EDC can serve as a supply-chain talent scout”, he added.
He affirmed that EDC has demonstrated its resolve and commitment to facilitating business for sub-Saharan Africa by opening a permanent representation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He further explained that the key sectors of interest for EDC as it expands into the broader African market include commodities, infrastructure, ICT, clean technology, transportation and agriculture, adding that 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”, he further stated.
Ruggieri also maintained that EDC follows a very flexible model which allows it to deliver maximum value to partners and customers. According to him, “We can offer clients in both developed and developing markets access to financial capital that suits their unique circumstances”.
He added the Canadian finance agency is equally 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.
He said EDC can also assist with sourcing suitable Canadian supply chain partners in situation where African companies do not yet have relationships with Canadian firms, adding that EDC also prides itself on its multi-stakeholder partnership approach.
“We work closely with a range of financial institutions, international banks, in addition to our efforts with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service across Africa, and our model often includes syndication structures with various financial services participants.
“Africa has massive infrastructure demands and a growing loan market, and in these conditions EDC is looking to grow our total business in the market to $10 billion in the next five years”, he stressed.
He further disclosed that EDC also has permanent representations in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Lima, Mexico City, Monterrey, Santiago, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Moscow, Dubai, Istanbul, and Düsseldorf.
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