As the fifth largest economy in the world and Canada’s third-largest trading partner, the UK remains an attractive market for Canadian companies looking to grow their business through trade and export opportunities, particularly in the transportation, communications, and mining sectors. This made London a natural fit for EDC’s next European representation.
While Brexit has shaken confidence and created some uncertainty in the UK’s business environment, EDC remains steadfast in its view of the UK and other Western European countries as an important “stop” in many Canadian companies’ export journey.
“Where some see risk and volatility after the Brexit vote, EDC sees opportunity,” says Mairead Lavery, EDC’s Senior Vice-President, Business Development. “We recognize that even in volatile political times, business almost always finds a way to continue, and its EDC’s job to offer Canadian businesses stability and reliability for their long term growth. While we have been planning the London representation for some time, the circumstances are such that Canadian companies now have an on-the-ground resource to help them manage the Brexit uncertainties.”
Heading up the new London representation is Stephen Wilhelm, EDC’s Regional Vice-President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Stephen points to London as an important financial hub that will increase EDC’s exposure to global financial institutions, and also provide benefits for companies back home. “We want to broaden and deepen EDC’s relationships with those UK financial institutions and help create more opportunities for Canadian companies internationally.” Additionally, London is increasingly a gateway into other key emerging markets, such as Africa and the Middle East.
With the opening of the London representation, EDC adds to its roster of permanent representations around the world, which includes Düsseldorf, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, São Paulo, Lima, Mexico City, Monterrey, Santiago, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Johannesburg, and Jakarta.