Export Development Canada (EDC) is looking to provide loans worth $1.3 billion (Canadian dollars - CAD) to businesses in India in 2017. The export credit agency had provided financing worth CAD 1.2 billion in 2016.

“Our plan is to grow the business up to CAD 1.3 billion in 2017, and to CAD 1.5 billion by 2020 in terms of financing,” Bill Brown, Regional Vice-President, Asia, EDC, told BusinessLine . “In 2016, we did 35 transactions in India, of which 16 transactions were big-ticket ones. As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India is very important to us,”

In the past, EDC has financed companies such as Tata Steel, Tata Communications and Ultratech Cement, mostly as support for procurement from Canadian suppliers.

The company also has a insurance business under which it has done transactions worth about CAD 1.1 billion in India.

Overall, in the past five years, EDC has done business worth $10 billion and is now aiming to take it to CAD 15 billion over the next five years.

Brown said India will account for about 30 per cent of its financing portfolio from the region by 2020.

“While infrastructure and ICT will continue to be our big focus areas, we are also working on projects in the renewable sector.” Brown said.

EDC has two representative offices in India, Mumbai and Delhi, and is looking to open a third office for which it is considering Bengaluru.

Brown said investors are seeing an overall improvement within the Indian market.

“This is validated by the number of Canadian companies, including Fairfax and CPPIB, investing in India.

“This has gone up significantly. Trade figures really tell the story. Canada’s export to India is now at CAD 4 billion,” Brown said.

EDC has also announced its first global branch outside of Canada, in Singapore.