EDC opens Chicago office to serve the Midwest U.S.

Export Development Canada (EDC) has launched a new representation in Chicago, Illinois to act as its home base in the Midwest—the most prosperous U.S. trading zone for Canadian companies. From this location, EDC will look to build Canadian exports and investment with key states including Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

While EDC will be looking to grow direct business with the region, Canadian companies will also be able to use the Midwest as a springboard to other regions of the U.S., as well as into additional global markets. EDC’s representation in Chicago will not only grow exports there, but also help Canadian companies diversify.

“Canada has a long history of success doing business in the Midwest, but we’ve done the research and we know there are significant opportunities for growth,” said Mairead Lavery, EDC’s President and CEO. “We’re putting our own team on the ground in Chicago to fuel that growth, to build connections and relationships that will open doors to new opportunities—especially for small- and medium-sized businesses. By expanding Canada’s footprint in this region and helping more companies export, we’re also growing our economy at home.”

A large part of EDC’s activities will focus on partnering with regional banks to provide financing to major U.S. corporations and project owners either already buying from Canadian suppliers or with a strong potential to do so. Establishing financial relationships will also equip EDC to learn more about the needs of buyers and facilitate tailored introductions to Canadian suppliers, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises. It will also facilitate Canadian direct investment into the Midwest and help companies grow their presence there. Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service in Chicago, as well as in Detroit and Minneapolis, will be key partners working alongside EDC to help achieve these goals.

“EDC’s increased representation in the U.S. provides Canadian entrepreneurs expanded on-the-ground intelligence to navigate the intricacies of this market, with practical advice and tailored support in Chicago. We want to give our exporters every advantage we can so they can continue to create wealth and jobs for the middle class here in Canada,” said Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr.

Roughly three quarters of Canada’s exports are U.S. bound. It is also the most attractive market of first entry for new Canadian exporters. EDC’s research shows that 80 per cent of first-time exporters intend to start in the U.S. Our goal is to be more present where Canadian companies want to be.

Andrea Lee