Latin America: A key market for Canadian exporters and investors
Talk of Canadian exporters diversifying their business outside the United States usually focuses on the Asian and European markets. The reality is more businesses are looking south of the U.S. In 2017, Export Development Canada (EDC) facilitated a record amount of business between Canadian companies and foreign buyers in both Mexico and Chile, building on a record year for business in Colombia in 2016.
Last year, Canadian and Mexican companies used EDC's financial services to undertake more than USD 3.2 billion of business. EDC supported an additional USD $1.6 billion between Canadian and Chilean companies during the same timeframe. Looking at emerging markets, more of EDC's financing supports deals in Latin America than Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa combined.
"Over the past five years, EDC helped facilitate more than CAD $60 billion in business between Canadian and Latin American companies, and there's more room to grow," said Nathan Nelson, EDC's new Regional Vice President, Latin America and Caribbean. "With several Free Trade Agreements in the region and well-established trade and investment relationships, Canadian businesses are finding expansion into the market is a good fit."
Mr. Nelson was promoted to Regional Vice President, Latin America and Caribbean in January 2018. Based in Mexico City, Mr. Nelson is responsible for all of EDC's activities in the Latin America and Caribbean region. This marks the first time the role is based in Mexico, which reflects the growing the importance of the region for EDC. The Crown Corporation also has permanent representations in Brazil, Columbia, and Peru.
"We're concentrating on actions in Latin America that drive results, and the growth in trade between Canada and Mexico last year despite the ongoing NAFTA negotiations shows this is the right approach," added Mr. Nelson. "There is no better time for Canadian companies to take advantage of promising business opportunities and diversify their exports in emerging markets across the region."
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.