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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Financing capital equipment exports through the export development corporation Schram, Douglas Charles

Abstract

The objective of this thesis is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Export Development Corporation, Canada's national export credit granting agency, in promoting and financing trade in capital equipment. This objective can be divided into four tasks, an examination of the Corporation's activities in the field of export credit, an examination of the markets of the purchasers of Canadian capital equipment exports, the development of some international standards against which to measure the performance of the EDC and an assessment of the performance of the Corporation in facilitating and developing trade in capital goods. In Chapter I the importance of capital equipment exports to the world's economy is examined. The evolution and importance of credit in facilitating trade in capital equipment is outlined. The analysis in the chapter shows that there are no effective international agreements to control the field of export credit. This introductory chapter also concerns itself with examining the role of export credit insurance. The balance of the study concentrates on examining the field of export credit in three nations. Chapter II is concerned with examining the system used by the British government to promote and finance British capital equipment exports. The purpose of this review is to develop some basic measures against which the performance of the EDC can be measured. Chapter III examines the programs used by the Export-Import Bank of the United States to promote and finance American capital equipment exports. The chapter also examines the structure of the market for such exports. The analysis is used to determine if the exports being supported by Exim Bank's finance facility have the same basic trade pattern as total American exports. A review of the World Bank's activities in the field of development finance is presented in order to establish that certain types of export credit are really nothing more than a sub-set of development finance. The commodities being supported by the Exim Bank's financing are analyzed to determine if a comparative advantage type of theory can be applied to the products supported by export credit. The Exim Bank's operations also provide a standard against which to measure the EDC's activities. Chapter IV outlines and analyzes the financing activities of the Export Development Corporation. The analysis includes all phases of the finance facility—the type of product eligible for support, the dollar volume of eligible goods being supported, the importance of the financed goods to the Canadian economy, the structure of the Canadian exporters and the structure of the foreign market. The chapter also attempts to relate the comparative advantage theories of international trade to this specific part of the Canadian manufacturing sector. Chapter V concerns itself with analyzing how the Corporation is financing its levels of activity. The Corporation's cash flows resulting from its financing activity are analyzed. The study suggests that the Corporation will require substantial amounts of capital in the near future. A new method of financing the activity of the EDC is also presented in this chapter. Chapter VI is the concluding chapter to this study. It initially outlines the similarities and differences of the systems used by the three nations to promote exports of capital equipment. The chapter then focuses on determining how effective the mechanisms used by each of the three countries are in achieving their government's policy goal. This comparison shows that the EDC is by far the least effective of the three agencies in achieving its policy goals. The study also demonstrates that both Canada and the U.S.A. use export credit to support certain industrial sectors. In the American case the aircraft industry receives a great deal of support from the Exim Bank's financing activity. This fact is also true for Canada's ship building industry. The study then offers a series of recommendations to improve the facilities offered by Canada in support of exports of capital equipment. It is suggested that export credit facilities in Canada can be made more efficient through the introduction of these new measures.

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