Sunday, June 22, 2008

Closing Canada’s Trade Culture Gap: EDC CEO Talks About Canada’s Future

Closing Canada’s Trade Culture Gap: EDC CEO Talks About Canada’s Future
(Export Development Canada)

Eric Siegel, President and CEO of Export Development Canada (EDC) today called for the federal and provincial governments, industry and the financial sector to invest in effective partnerships to elevate Canada’s trade competitiveness.

Mr. Siegel addressed the growing gap between Canada and the rest of the world in promoting its own trade culture during a speech at the Economic Club of Toronto.

“Over the years I have seen Canadians get a lot better at trade. I am here today to say that I am afraid we have to get an awful lot better. There are real danger signals out there, and they concern me deeply,” said Mr. Siegel. “We may be growing, but not nearly enough. Not in comparison to what the rest of the world is doing. It’s not just India and China, who get all the media attention, that are passing us by. We’re also being outpaced by our traditional competitors in the U.S. and the rest of the industrialized world.”

The speech, entitled “What the Future Holds for Canada's Trade”, examines the importance of trade to economic growth, Canada’s place in global trade and what Canada needs to do to regain its competitiveness. Involved in 12% of Canada’s trade annually, on average, EDC is active in all areas of Canada’s trade. Mr. Siegel said that governments, private industry, the financial sector and EDC need to look at four key areas where Canada needs to invest to improve its sliding trade competitiveness.

These are:
• improving Canadian education and skills related to trade;
• celebrating, supporting and learning from Canada’s key global performers;
• doing a much better job of branding and promoting Canada abroad; and
• getting more Canadian companies involved in trade.

Mr. Siegel has been active in Canada’s trade finance sector since 1979. Mr. Siegel’s remarks are available online at

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