Press Releases

Diversifying exports must become a priority, says the President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Canada

Montreal, 15 June 2006 -

In his address to members of the Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters at noon today, Réal Raymond, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Canada, stated that manufacturers would have to keep boosting their productivity and making inroads into new export markets in order to face international competition.

In 2005, manufacturers began investing in state-of-the-art technologies to bolster productivity. It is important to maintain the impetus by putting further energy into niches where we have obvious comparative. “This step is necessary so that Canada can develop other business nichesof its own. Niches with potential for growth,” indicated Mr. Raymond.

“Developing new export market niches is another key to prosperity. For Canadian companies and Canadians,” he added. At the moment, 80% of our exports are to the United States, with only 6% bound for the European Union, our second largest market. According to Mr. Raymond, this situation must change as our business and financial risks are overly concentrated in a single market. He told exporters that we must increase our presence in Europe. “Opportunities there abound and are waiting to be seized. In the United Kingdom and in France, of course, but also in Poland, Greece and Portugal.”

Mr. Raymond concluded his address by underscoring the robustness of the manufacturing sector and the challenges ahead of it. He explained that the appreciation of the dollar, like international competition, presents both a challenge and an opportunity. A challenge that many exporters have already taken up successfully.

About National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. National Bank has more than $110 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 16,955 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website

Information (The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives):

Denis Dubé
Senior Director – Public Relations
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: (514) 394-8644