Canada export bank eyes PH
As offers of development funding from China and Japan pour in, Canada also wants a bigger piece of the Philippine growth story as its export credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC) seeks more opportunities to fund infrastructure projects and other key industries.
In an e-mail interview with the Inquirer, EDC regional vice president for Asia international business development William Brown said EDC was anticipating more Canadian businesses wanting to invest and sell more products to the Philippines as Canadian exporters and investors seek opportunities in emerging markets.
The domestic sectors that EDC is most bullish about include food processing, clean technology, pulp and paper, information and communications technology and aerospace-related industries.
EDC also expects to play a bigger role in the country’s infrastructure sector given President Duterte’s ambition to bring the Philippines to a golden age of infrastructure.
“EDC’s funding is disbursed according to customer needs and opportunities for trade between Canada and the Philippines. EDC can be a valuable resource to Philippine corporations in the infrastructure sector by providing financing and introducing them to leading Canadian infrastructure companies,” Brown said.
“Rail, clean technology and power are all key industries that EDC and Canada can contribute to in the Philippines. We also have in-depth experience in financing PPP (public-private partnership) projects. This will augur well with the President’s agenda in bringing more private capital to support infrastructure development in the Philippines using the PPP model,” he said.
As funding from Asian economic giants like China and Japan flow more abundantly to the Philippines, Brown said EDC—being “one of the most progressive export credit agencies”—had many competitive advantages compared to other financiers.
“EDC’s strong capital position means that it can handle transactions of all sizes, from the very large to the small, for companies in support of transactions involving Canadian supply or services. We also like to partner with other commercial banks on their syndicated financing facilities to grow the reach of our support,” Brown said.
Brown said that apart from offering innovative and reliable financing, what would set EDC apart from other financiers was that it could serve as a supply-chain talent scout. “This unique EDC key value proposition means that EDC helps companies in the Philippines reduce costs and increase efficiency and innovation by introducing them to Canadian companies with the exact capabilities they need or want. Canadian companies are renowned for their world-class technology and services, which is an attractive feature for foreign buyers,” he said.
EDC recently opened a branch in Singapore to function as its financing hub in Asia. Brown said this meant that EDC could now bring its global-scale financing business closer to projects and companies in Southeast Asia and the Philippines by processing transactions in real Asia time, eliminating the previous 12-hour delay to connect back to the financing teams in Canada.
“EDC’s financing is now offered more quickly and effectively, which will significantly benefit both Canadian companies operating in the Philippines as well as Philippine companies seeking financing,” he said.
As an export credit agency, EDC focuses on providing financial services to companies that buy from Canadian companies or those that have Canadian supply and services in their corporate value chain. Funds from EDC can be used for capital expenditure or project finance requirements, either through bilateral or syndicated corporate facilities.
EDC has been present in Southeast Asia for a long time through a representative office in Singapore since 2007. EDC also recently opened a representative office in Jakarta, Indonesia, to complement EDC’s other representative offices in Asia: Mumbai, Delhi, Shanghai and Beijing.
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