Welcome to ECA Watch

Export credit agences provide government-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to corporations working internationally in some of the most volatile, controversial and damaging industries on the planet.

Shrouded in mystery, ECAs provide financial backing for risky projects that might never otherwise get off the ground. They are a major source of national debt in developing countries.

ECA Watch is a network of NGOs from around the world. We come together to campaign for ECA reform - better transparency, accountability, and respect for environmental standards and human rights.

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What's New July 2018

What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today!

Questions? Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Dutch ECA ADSB issues complaint guidelines
  • European Ombudsman concludes the European Commission failed to carry out a human rights impact re ECAs
  • Report of the UNHCR Working Group on human rights, business enterprises and ECAs
  • Federal US Judge says Dakota Access developer can't sue BankTrack
  • Anti-Adani NSW protest outside EFIC office
  • Ex-Im Bank nominee fairs well in Senate hearing
  • Turkmenistan woos ECAs for transadriatic pipeline
  • World powers back Iran oil exports despite US sanctions threa
  • Qatar Is Said to Seek $4 Billion in ECA support for Typhoon Fighter Jets
  • Public/ECA Finance for African Energy Focuses on Fossil Fuels
  • Russian ECA Financed Bangladesh Reactor is Safe Against Natural Disasters
  • Exxon expands Mozambique LNG project to cut costs ahead of bank tal
  • ECAs to revive defunct Uganda Airline

Dutch ECA ADSB issues complaint guidelines

(Both Ends, Amsterdam, 28 June 2018) Following years of advocating with the Dutch export credit agency Atradius Dutch State Business (ADSB) to establish a complaints mechanism, and following active discussions between a number of Dutch NGOs and the Dutch ECA in recent months, ADSB has published new “Guidelines for submitting a complaint”. While this does not yet compare to an independent complaints mechanism, it at least offers an additional venue for communities affected by ADSB supported projects to make eventual complaints known to the Dutch ECA, and hopefully to start a process to resolve issues raised. This comes in addition to the venue of filing a complaint under the OECD Guidelines for MNEs to the Dutch NCP. We welcome these Guidelines as an important step forward. As always the usefulness of the new procedure will have to be proven following the submission of real complaints from the ground.




European Ombudsman concludes the European Commission failed to carry out a human rights impact re ECAs

(European Ombudsman, Brussels, 17 July 2018) Following a complaint launched by ECA Watch members, the European Ombudsman has determined that the European Commission wrongly decided not to carry out a human rights impact assessment before agreeing to the 2015 Sector Understanding on Export Credits for coal-fired electricity generation projects, negotiated in the context of the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits. The Ombudsman found maladministration on the part of the Commission for having taken this decision in the absence of a thorough analysis of whether it was likely there would be any significant economic, social or environmental impacts, including on human rights. The Arrangement and its subsidiary Sector Understandings are a loosely monitored “Gentlemen’s Agreement” among participating OECD members, which provide “a framework for the orderly use of officially supported export credits”. This is a welcome decision and follows the Ombudsman's recent demand for greater transparency on the part of European ECAs.

https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/recommendation/en/99655


Report of the UNHCR Working Group on human rights, business enterprises and ECAs

(UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, 2 May 2018) The report, prepared pursuant to Council resolutions 17/4 and 35/7 for discussion at its 18 June to 6 July 2018 meetings, examines the duty of States to protect against human rights abuses by business enterprises, including export credit agencies, to whom they provide support for trade and investment promotion. It explores how States can incentivize business respect for human rights in this context, including through withdrawal of trade and investment support in situations where businesses fail to meet their corporate responsibility to respect human rights. Nine of the 20 pages cover examples and gaps in good ECA practices and moving beyond OECD efforts to avoid race to the bottom approaches. It notes that current National [human rights] Action Plans do not include discussions of the ways in which export credit agencies address and enable access to remedy by rights holders who are harmed in connection with a project or transaction funded or supported by an export credit agency.

http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=A/HRC/38/48&Lang=E


Federal US Judge says Dakota Access developer can't sue BankTrack

(Tampa Bay Times, Bismark, 26 July 2018) A federal judge has ruled that the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline has no claim under federal racketeering law for damages against a Dutch environmental group that urged banks not to finance the $3.8 billion project. U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson dismissed Netherlands-based BankTrack as a defendant in a lawsuit that Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners filed in August against that group, Greenpeace and Earth First. In separate rulings this week, he also cast doubt on whether the lawsuit will succeed against the other two groups. Wilson said the lawsuit "vaguely attempts" to connect BankTrack to acts of radical ecoterrorism, but he concluded that "None of BankTrack's actions promoted, assisted or condoned violent criminal conduct,". BankTrack Director Johan Frijns in a statement said the judge's ruling "confirms that this type of advocacy work is legitimate."

https://www.tampabay.com/judge-says-dakota-access-developer-cant-sue-banktrack-a...


Anti-Adani NSW protest outside EFIC office

(The Australian, Sydney, 29 June 2018) Protesters worried about potential taxpayer funding of Adani's mega-mine in central Queensland have picketed the Sydney offices of Australia's export credit agency. About 40 Frontline Action on Coal activists on Friday demanded to meet with the boss of the Export Finance and Investment Corporation. The group claim federal Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has directed EFIC to assess "putting public money" behind the Indian mining giant's proposed thermal coalmine. They say the Adani coalmine would fail EFIC's three investment rules requiring projects to be commercially viable, in the national interest and in the public interest. There were more than 20 similar protests held across Australia on Friday and Saturday.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/antiadani-nsw-protest-outside-...


Ex-Im Bank nominee fairs well in Senate hearing

(Space News, Washington, 19 July 2018) Kimberly Reed, President Trump’s latest nominee to chair the Export-Import Bank of the United States, received a warm reception during a July 19 Senate hearing, indicating a much stronger chance for her confirmation than Trump’s initial pick, Scott Garrett. Members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee spent the majority of the two-and-a-half-hour hearing questioning another Trump nominee, Kathleen Laura Kraninger, for director of the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, allotting little time on Reed. Reed’s approval would bring Ex-Im Bank closer to the minimum three full board members needed to approve export credit transactions over $10 million,

https://spacenews.com/ex-im-bank-nominee-fairs-well-in-senate-hearing/


Turkmenistan woos ECAs for transadriatic pipeline

(Azernews, New York, 28 July 2018) A presentation titled “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline: A new energy Great Silk Road to provide access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” was organized at the headquarters of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York with the assistance of the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. “Turkmenistan views this gas pipeline as a new energy Silk Road that will connect the regions of Central Asia and South Asia," said Aksoltan Atayeva, Turkmen ambassador to the UN. A road show on financing issues is planned in July to promote the TAPI gas pipeline project and hold negotiations. Several meetings have already been held with a number of export credit agencies (including SACE, Hermes and ECIO), which expressed support for the project. In other news, the TAP project has so far secured €1.5 ($1.74) billion in loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), and further contributions from the export credit agencies of France, Germany and Italy are currently under consideration. The pipeline is owned by BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagas (16%) and Axpo (5%).

https://www.azernews.az/region/135140.html


World powers back Iran oil exports despite US sanctions threats

(AFP, Vienna, 6 July 2018) Iran’s remaining partners in the 2015 nuclear deal vowed Friday to keep the energy exporter plugged into the global economy despite the US withdrawal and sanctions threat. Britain, France and Germany along with Russia and China met with Iran in Vienna to offer economic benefits and assurances that would lessen the blow of sweeping US sanctions announced by Trump. Although there were no concrete pledges or deadlines, they vowed efforts to keep open financial channels with Iran, promote export credit cover and maintain open air, sea and overland transport links.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/world-powers-back-iran-oil-exports-despite-us-sanc...


Qatar Is Said to Seek $4 Billion in ECA support for Typhoon Fighter Jets

(Bloomberg, Doha, 10 July 2018) Qatar is seeking to raise more than $4 billion from banks to finance the purchase of Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The government is working with financial advisers on the deal that it is said will be backed by export credit agencies. The gas-rich Gulf state is also holding talks with banks and export credit agencies from Italy, France and the U.K. to raise billions of dollars in loans for other defense deals, two other people said. Qatar is beefing up defense spending after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and economic ties with it in June 2017, accusing the country of close links to Iran and financing terrorism.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-11/qatar-is-said-to-seek-4-billi...


Public/ECA Finance for African Energy Focuses on Fossil Fuels

(Oil Change International, Washington, 23 July 2018) Each year, approximately $20 billion from government-backed financial institutions around the world flows to energy projects in Africa. According to a new analysis by Oil Change International, nearly 60 percent of this finance from 2014 through 2016 went to support fossil fuel development, compared to 18 percent for clean energy projects. Much of the bilateral public finance for energy in Africa appears to support the commercial interests of the countries providing the finance. In part, this is because a third of the finance assessed in this analysis comes from export credit agencies, which aim to support home-country companies to secure business overseas. Titled “Assessing International Public Finance for Energy in Africa: Where Do Development and Climate Priorities Stand?”, the report examines financial flows and support from development agencies, export credit agencies, and major development banks to energy in Africa.

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2018/07/23/report-public-finance-energy-af...


Russian ECA Financed Bangladesh Reactor is Safe Against Natural Disasters

(Sputnik International, Moscow, 13 July 2018) The construction work on the second unit of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), which is the first ever nuclear power plant for Bangladesh, is scheduled to be launched next Saturday. On July 8, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA), issued a license to Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) for the design and construction of RNPP Unit 2. The project will cost around $13 billion, of which Russia provides a state export credit of up to $11.38 billion and the rest is financed by the government of Bangladesh. "In RNPP we will have the 'Generation 3+' technology, developed from the experience of Japan's Fukushima disaster, which will ensure more safety and security in case of tsunami, cyclone and other similar type of disasters," Dr. Shaheed Hossain, consultant of RNPP Project told Sputnik.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201807131066321010-rooppur-npp-safe-against-natural...


Exxon expands Mozambique LNG project to cut costs ahead of bank talks

(Reuters, London, 12 July 2018) Exxon Mobil will expand its Rovuma liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique by half to cut production costs as the partners prepare to book the plant's supply and formally tap lenders in September, the company told Reuters. The U.S. oil giant took charge of the East African LNG project's onshore operations following a $2.8 billion deal with Italy's Eni last year, adding to its suite of projects in Qatar, Papua New Guinea, Russia and the United States. Mozambique's two rival LNG projects are ramping up to take final investment decisions (FID) in 2019 and both are teeing up buyers and loans to underpin hefty construction costs. But there the similarities end. Anadarko Petroleum's approach involves raising a record $14-$15 billion from banks and export credit agencies (ECAs) to fund the build. At the same time, it is lining up long-term LNG sales deals with external companies in China, Asia and Europe to guarantee the loans. Exxon in contrast will finance a larger share of costs from its own pockets as well as drawing on project partners, including Eni, Korea Gas Corp and China National Petroleum Corporation, bank and industry sources say.

https://www.nasdaq.com/article/exxon-expands-mozambique-lng-project-to-cut-costs...


ECAs to revive defunct Uganda Airline

(Daily Monitor, Kampala, 24 July 2018) Uganda hurriedly firmed up plans to revamp the country’s defunct airline in March 2019, after signing a purchase agreement for four Canadian Regional Jets 900 series, while at the Farnborough airshow in the United Kingdom. Uganda also signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for two A330 planes that are to be delivered in October 2020. Since Uganda doesn’t have the money to purchase the aircraft, it has committed to borrow from different lenders, on yet to be agreed terms. The biggest value of the loan will be provided by four Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). Export Development Canada will provide 80 per cent of the money to buy regional jets from Bombardier. United Kingdom Export Finance, Bpifrance, the French Public Investment Bank, and Euler Hermes a company that provides credit insurance, bonding and debt collection services will deliver the 80 per cent of the $215.4 million (Ush800.2 billion) needed for two the long haul planes from Airbus.

http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Reviving-Uganda-Airlines-How-government-...


What's New June 2018

What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today!

ECA Watch applaudes European Ombudsman demand for greater EU ECA transparency on human rights and environmental impacts

(ECA Watch, Amsterdam, 28 June, 2018) ECA-watch applauds the European Ombudsman’s ruling on maladministration of the European Commission in checking compliance of European Export Credit Agencies with EU law In a landmark ruling1, the European Ombudsman has found that the European Commission failed to fulfil its legal obligation to assess the compliance of EU-based official Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) with EU laws and human rights obligations. The Ombudsman has recommended that changes be introduced to the EC’s reporting procedures. If implemented, the ruling could mean that EU-based ECAs – national bodies that give financial support to companies doing business overseas, including in ‘risky’ markets – are to be named and shamed where their activities fail to meet EU human rights and environmental obligations.

http://www.eca-watch.org/publications/eca-watch-applaudes-european-ombudsman-dem...


Turkey Halts Filling Tigris Dam After Iraq Complains of Water Shortages

(Reuters, Ankara/Baghdad, 7 June 2018) Turkey has temporarily stopped filling a huge dam on the Tigris River after complaints from neighboring Iraq, which is suffering water shortages, officials said on Thursday. Turkey's ambassador to Baghdad and Iraq's water minister also said that the two countries had agreed that when Ankara resumes filling the Ilisu dam in July it will still allow sufficient water to flow into Iraq. The dam, more than 20 years in the making, will generate electricity for a large area of southeast Turkey. But it has been heavily criticized over its impact on the environment and on the tens of thousands of villagers who will be displaced. Its waters will also submerge a 12,000-year-old town.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-06-07/turkey-halts-filling-of-il...


U.S. embassy warns Americans to leave northeastern Mozambique due to imminent attacks

(AfricaNews/Reuters, Maputo, 12 June 2018) The U.S. embassy in Mozambique said Americans should consider leaving a northeastern district close to a major gas field as imminent attacks are likely after suspected Islamist militants beheaded 10 people and killed seven others since May. Anadarko Petroleum is seeking to raise a record $14-15 billion from banks and export credit agencies for its huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) project there, sources close to the matter said in May. The company declined to comment on reports it had suspended work on its massive LNG project in the war-scarred southeastern African country. Environmental NGOs and Mozambicans have raised serious concerns about multiple negative impacts of this project. French bank Societe Generale, the financial adviser on the $20 billion Mozambique LNG project, has already received interest for a combined $12 billion in cover and direct lending from export credit agencies (ECAs) in China, South Africa, Italy and Japan.

http://www.africanews.com/2018/06/12/us-embassy-warns-americans-to-leave-northea...


Trump taps nominee to lead Export-Import Bank

(The Hill, Washington, 20 June 201) President Trump on Wednesday nominated Kimberly Reed to lead the Export-Import Bank, taking a step toward getting the agency running back at full lending strength. The 84-year-old bank has been in financial limbo over the past three years, short of enough members on its board of directors to make loans above $10 million. During her November confirmation hearing, Reed said that she looked "forward to bringing two decades of bipartisan experience to my work at the Bank, which has more than 400 dedicated career professionals." A Wall Street Journal commentator noted that "By turning to Ms. Reed, a former Treasury Department staffer during the George W. Bush administration, the White House is backing a nominee for the bank who thinks the Ex-Im Bank’s role is essential for the U.S. to counter foreign governments that operate their own export-finance agencies. At her nomination hearing late last year for a less-senior post at the bank, she said not having a functional export-finance agency amounted to “unilateral disarmament.”

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/393383-trump-taps-nominee-to-lead-export-impor...


Europe says U.S. Threat of Sanctions Imperils Bid to Save Iran Deal

(Wall Street Journal, Washington, 6 JUne 2018) Senior European officials conceded in a letter to the Trump administration that their efforts to save the Iranian nuclear accord by maintaining major trade, investment and export credits with Tehran are buckling in the face of planned U.S. sanctions. European countries have vowed to keep commerce with Iran flowing in order to persuade Tehran to remain in the accord and restrict its nuclear activity. An effort to persuade central banks to make one-off payments to Iran to pay for future oil imports has so far borne little fruit, officials say. The EU is still working on giving Iran fuller access to European Investment Bank loans. Officials are also considering extending credit lines, like the €5 billion ($5.85 billion) program set up by the Italian government, or providing export credit guarantees to companies. However, even these programs could be vulnerable to U.S. sanctions.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/european-officials-say-u-s-threat-of-sanctions-impe...


Germany Sets Up Iran Advice Office for Companies

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 17 June 2018) The German government has set up a special office to advise companies worried about their business dealings with Iran amid fears they will be targeted for US sanctions. The European signatories to a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran—Germany, France and Britain—have vowed to keep the deal alive after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it last month. Germany’s Economy Ministry said on Friday it has established an “Iran contact point” for companies to pose their questions by email.  The ministry stressed that European sanctions relief for Iran, one of the terms of the nuclear agreement, remain in place, and that government-backed export credit guarantees are still available, AP reported.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-domestic-economy/88079/germany-set...


UK signs £1.5BILLION trade deal as Brexit Britain expands on world stage

(Express, London, 9 June 2018) Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced the UK has secured a £1.5 billion trade deal and signed off £75 million in other trade agreements in a major boost for the UK economy after Brexit. Dr Fox is expected to release a new Export Strategy which will set out the Government’s plan to get businesses of all sizes exporting their products to boost the economy after Brexit. The lucrative trade deals come as Britain’s exit from the EU looms. Dr Fox announced today a deal worth more than £1.5 billion had been secured by a UK company to deliver natural gas project in Cameroon. Additional deals have also be secured in Panama, Turkey, India and Qatar worth £75 million for British businesses. Capitalising on recent foreign visits by Cameroon’s Minister Secretary General, the Presidents of Panama and Turkey and the Prime Minister of India, UK businesses have been exploring exporting opportunities with some of the fastest-growing economies.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/971445/brexit-news-eu-uk-trade-deals-liam-fox-...


UKEF provides £2.5bn in support for UK exports

(Bridging & Commercial, London, 21 June 2018) UK Export Finance (UKEF) has revealed that it helped UK exporters – 77% of which were smaller businesses – secure sales to over 75 countries during the financial year 2017/18. In its annual report and accounts, the UK’s export credit agency reported that it provided £2.5bn in support for UK exports during the same period. It also stated that since 2011, it had supported £4.1bn in export contracts through its trade finance products, which were introduced to give smaller businesses an exporting edge. The annual report and accounts are availalable here.

https://bridgingandcommercial.co.uk/article-desc-13661_UKEF%20provides%202.5bn%2...


Intra-Africa trade boosted by launch of $1 bln promotion programme

(African Independent, Cape Town, 27 June 2018) The African Export-Import Bank and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa have launched a  $1 billion trade and investment programme expected to boost business between South Africa and the rest of the continent. The programme will help address the need for African countries to work closely together in addressing the challenges of fragmented markets, under-developed production structures and inadequate economic diversification, the deputy director general of trade at the department of trade and investment Lerato Mataboge said at the launch on Tuesday. "Our aim as a government is to increase the levels of South African investments in the rest of the continent through targeted support measures," Mataboge said. "We have targeted $100 billion of investments to be reached in the next five years and we want to ensure a sizable amount of investments into South Africa that are of African origin."

https://www.africanindy.com/news/intra-africa-trade-boosted-by-launch-of-1-bln-p...


Gazprom signs $1.2bn Bolivia deal

(Energy Reporters, Istanbul, 20 June 2018) Russian state-run gas monopoly Gazprom has committed to invest US$1.2 billion in exploration and production at the Vitiacua onshore field in southern Bolivia.  “This contract will mean an investment by Gazprom of US$1.2 billion, the drilling of two exploratory wells, six development wells, adding a total of eight wells, with a maximum production of 400 million cubic feet in coming years,” Bolivia’s state-owned oil and gas company YPFB chief executive Oscar Barriga said. The Viticua block in the Chaco oil and gas basin has potential reserves of 2.17 trillion cubic feet, Barriga told the media. The Russian agency for export credit and investment insurance, Exiar, and Bolivia’s energy ministry signed a deal to secure financing for supplies of gas-fuelled machinery and equipment produced in Russia. Around 20,000 Russian public transport vehicles will be shipped to Bolivia as part of the Bolivian government’s efforts to boost natural gas as a transport fuel instead of oil.

https://www.energy-reporters.com/consumption/gazprom-signs-1-2bn-bolivia-deal/


Uzbekistan and Rosatom to build joint nuclear power plant

(Vestnik Kavkaza, Tashkent?, 4 June 018) Uzbekistan will be the first country in Central Asia to have a nuclear power plant. Rosatom proposes to build a station consisting of two modern VVER-1200 units of 3+ generation. A similar project is being implemented by Rosatom in Bangladesh. It is estimated at about $13 billion, of which $11.3 billion provided by Russia as a state export credit. The cost of the Belarus NPP was $10 billion. The cost of the Uzbek nuclear power plant is unknown yet. Expert Kubat Rakhimov believes that the Uzbek nuclear power plant will be more expensive, since it will be difficult to solve the issue of a cooling system in Navoiy without sufficient quantity of running water and / or large water bodies. Russia is ready to offer Uzbekistan several options for financing the project, including on the terms of a state loan, a scheme of borrowed money from the market, investing its own funds, as well as the BOO scheme (build-own-operate). In addition, the possibility of allocating borrowed funds for the construction of the station from the Russian Export Center is being discussed.

http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Uzbekistan-and-Rosatom-to-build-joint-nuclear...


Vietnam's Long Phu coal plant delayed due to US embargo on Russian Contractor

(Vietnam Investment Review, Hanoi, 17 June 2018) On January 26, Power Machines, the EPC contractor of Long Phu 1 thermal power plant, was put on the US Department of Treasury’s extended list of Russian individuals and companies subject to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. The move may delay the construction of Long Phu 1 project by 36 months. After the sanctions were imposed on Power Machines, General Electric announced cancelling the contract of supplying turbines and generators, which are two important segments of the project.

http://www.vir.com.vn/three-billion-dollar-thermal-power-plants-running-behind-s...


Anti-Adani NSW protest outside Australian ECA office

(The Australian, Sydney, 29 June 2018)  Protesters worried about potential taxpayer funding of Adani's mega-mine in central Queensland have picketed the Sydney offices of Australia's export credit agency. About 40 Frontline Action on Coal activists on Friday demanded to meet with the boss of the Export Finance and Investment Corporation. They chanted "money for health and education, not for mining corporations" and unfurled a large banner reading "No Future In Coal #NoNewCoal" before being moved on by NSW Police after an hour. The group claim federal Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has directed EFIC to assess "putting public money" behind the Indian mining giant's proposed thermal coalmine.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/antiadani-nsw-protest-outside-...


What's New May 2018

What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today!

Questions? Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Auditor general finds ‘deficiencies’ at Export Development Canada
  • EDC requests public input during policy review
  • Papua New Guinea prime minister ridicules report on EFIC gas project
  • Europeans push last bid to salvage Iran deal, but work on plan B(s)
  • Anadarko seeks to raise $14-$15 billion for Mozambique LNG project
  • Democrats Want A Permanent Fix For Hobbled Ex-Im Bank
  • US Military Export Sales Support Grows by 950% from 2007 to 2017
  • South Korea braces for trade with North
  • Lowy Asia Power Index: EFIC pulls Australia down in regional power game
  • Saudis Trying to Influence Iraq’s Political Landscape With Export Credit
  • World Bank Group’s MIGA to share risk with Japan’s NEXI through reinsurance

Auditor general finds ‘deficiencies’ at Export Development Canada

(National Observer, Ottawa, 30 April 20188)Canada’s federal auditor general says there are “significant deficiencies” at Export Development Canada when it comes to risk management.The Office of the Auditor General of Canada announced the results of an audit into Export Development Canada (EDC), which facilitates international business deals as Canada's export credit agency, on April 30, that “found a number of weaknesses."The warning comes on the heels of a report by Ottawa-based watchdog Above Ground that found EDC did not have effective screening for corruption.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/04/30/news/auditor-general-finds-deficienc...


EDC requests public input during policy review

(Canada News Wire, Ottawa, 16 May 2018) EDC is now inviting stakeholders from across the Canadian trade and business ecosystems to offer input and constructive feedback on the following key policies under its environmental and social risk management framework on: Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM); Climate Change policy; Environmental and Social Review Directive (ERD); Human Rights Statement; and Disclosure Policy. A discussion paper has been published, and a dedicated webpage has been created to further explain the review process. Submissions are welcome during a 90-day comment period from May 14 – Aug 17, 2018.

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/edc-requests-public-input-during-a-review-...


Papua New Guinea prime minister ridicules report on EFIC gas project

(Australian Associated Press, Sydney, 1 May 2018) Papua New Guinea’s prime minister has dismissed as “fake news” a report that claims a partially Australian-funded liquefied natural gas project is failing to deliver a promised economic boom to his people. Peter O’Neill was in Brisbane for the Australian-PNG business forum and used a keynote speech to attack a damning report by Jubilee Australia, which questioned whether projected economic benefits were flowing from the ExxonMobil-led project. Australia’s export credit agency, Efic, made its largest ever loan of $500m to ExxonMobil, OilSearch, Santos and the PNG government in 2009. “The people of PNG would have been better off had the project not happened at all,” said report co-author Paul Flanagan, a former Australian Treasury official. OilSearch chief executive Peter Botten said the report would be subject to "rigorous analysis" to find out where Jubilee was right and where it could be challenged. The Guardian Australia reported that despite company celebrations of gas flowing since 2014 and  the 300th shipment of LNG from the project’s export terminal, the landowners in Hela hadn’t been paid any royalties. Santos chairman Keith Spence has stated that "We have met every obligation... the moneys that were promised to the landholders have been paid to the government" Predictably, this was raising tensions in the area and there were – and are – very real fears that the project could end up triggering an armed insurgency. One news agency noted that undelivered infrastructure projects which resource companies promised landowners, including roads, airports, hospitals, housing and sewerage projects, could even lead to civil war. Between 1987-1997, 20,000 people died in a civil war between PNG and its Bougainville province. Panguna, one of the world's largest copper and gold mines, sparked that conflict.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/01/fake-news-papua-new-guinea-prime-m...


Europeans push last bid to salvage Iran deal, but work on plan B(s)

(Reuters, Paris/Brussels, 3 May 2018) France, Britain and Germany all say they will stay in the deal even if the United States withdraws, and try to protect and foster European trade and ECA support with Iran, which has soared since the European Union lifted most of its economic sanctions. Iran’s exports of mainly fuel and other energy products to the EU in 2016 jumped 344% to 5.5 billion euros ($6.58 billion) compared to the previous year, while investment in Iran jumped to more than 20 billion euros. The Europeans aim to present a separate political agreement to the White House that commits to taking a tougher stance on Iran, if they can agree it in time with the U.S. France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are continuing to lobby Trump, but with the prospect of him changing his mind remote, the focus has shifted to managing the fallout and avoiding a dangerous vacuum. The German Economy Ministry said it was waiting for a formal U.S. decision on the Iran deal before deciding whether to stop offering German firms export guarantees for business deals with Tehran. Such guarantees provide state protection for companies doing business abroad when foreign debtors fail to pay. The EU may also be considering switching to euros instead of U.S. dollars in the oil trade with Iran The prospect of trade with Europe would provide the Europeans with a chance to assuage the Iranians, and dissuade them from rash decisions such as leaving the deal or reviving the nuclear activities they agreed to give up. The Financial Times notes that even as European leaders prepared their pleas for exemptions from US president Donald Trump’s sanctions on Iran, advisers were warning of a deepening chill on multinationals’ willingness to do business with the Islamic republic.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-europe/europeans-push-last-bid-t...


Anadarko seeks to raise $14-$15 billion for Mozambique LNG project

(Reuters, London, 18 May 2018) - Anadarko Petroleum is seeking to raise a record $14-$15 billion from banks and export credit agencies for its huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique, sources close to the matter said. Fast-growing gas demand from China and Southeast Asia is reassuring export project developers sitting on huge untapped gas discoveries in Mozambique and elsewhere that the market cycle is turning after three years of low prices. The full amount would be the largest loan ever in the LNG sector. French bank Societe Generale, the financial adviser on the $20 billion Mozambique LNG project, has already received interest for a combined $12 billion in cover and direct lending from export credit agencies (ECAs) in China, South Africa, Italy and Japan. Environmental NGOs and Mozambican have raised serious concerns about multiple negative impacts of this project.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-anadarko-petroleum-mozambique-lng-exc/exclusi...


Democrats Want A Permanent Fix For Hobbled Ex-Im Bank

(Law360, New York, 30 April 30 2018) On the heels of President Donald Trump’s decision to tap one of his top trade advisers as the interim head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a throng of Democratic senators on Friday pressed the White House to move ahead with a permanent leader for the beleaguered export credit agency. In a letter spearheaded by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D.-Wash., and Heidi Heitkamp, D.-N.D., the senators once again noted that the bank has been unable to finance high-value export projects since December 2015 due to the lack of a sufficient quota on its board of directors and that the appointment of a new bank president would go a long way to remedying that dynamic. “Since December 2015, Ex-Im has not had a fully operational board that is able to review and approve the types of deals that would expand U.S. exports,” they said. “As a result, foreign export credit agencies have been and will continue to rush to fill the void. In turn, more U.S. jobs will be sent overseas, and both American workers and companies will be at a serious disadvantage.” Trump’s first nominee for the job, former congressman Scott Garrett, was eventually withdrawn after stern backlash that focused on Garrett’s past as staunch advocate for shuttering the bank. Since then, movement on Ex-Im has remained mostly quiet as Trump’s board nominees have earned the blessing of the Senate Banking Committee but are still awaiting a full vote.

https://www.law360.com/articles/1038568/dems-want-a-permanent-fix-for-hobbled-ex...


US Military Export Sales Support Grows by 950% from 2007 to 2017

(GAO, Washington, 10 May 2018) The US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) administrative account balance grew by over 950 percent from fiscal years 2007 to 2017—from $391 million to $4.1 billion—due in part to insufficient management controls, including the lack of timely rate reviews. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has some controls to manage the account balance. By not performing timely rate reviews or setting an upper bound, DSCA has limited its ability to prevent excessive balance growth.  U.S. foreign partners buy billions of dollars of defense equipment and services each year through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The program charges fees to purchasers to cover the U.S. government's cost of operating the program. As the value of these sales has increased, the balances in the 2 main fee accounts have grown in excess of 950% and now top $5 billion. GAO found that the substantial growth in these accounts was due to insufficient management controls.

https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-401?mobile_opt_out=1#summary_recommend


South Korea braces for trade with North

(Korea JoongAng Daily, Seoul, 3 May 2018) As relations between the two Koreas warm, Seoul is gearing up to create new economic ties with Pyongyang, according to the South’s top economic official. According to Kim Dong-yeon, South Korea’s minister of strategy and finance, the so-called inter-Korean cooperation fund, a government fund established in 1991 that is devoted to projects that promote ties and exchanges between the two Koreas, has about 1 trillion won in its budget for 2018, with about 350 billion won (US$324 million) assigned specifically for economic projects. The fund is sourced from the government budget and public sector funds and is under the supervision of the Export-Import Bank of Korea, a state-run export credit agency.

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3047641


Lowy Asia Power Index: EFIC pulls Australia down in regional power game

(Australia Financial Review, Melbourne, 8 May 2018) In the overall rankings, Australia is defined as an over-performer, or a country that punches above its economic and military strength. Indeed, we are ranked third in the over-performer stakes behind Japan and Singapore, coming in one place ahead of South Korea. This is primarily due to the strength of Canberra's military connections into the region and the cultural power associated with the university sector. But when it comes to business, Australia has shown itself to be sub-scale and insular. Seoul's export credit agencies, a mark of economic integration and regional influence, have extended $US82 billion of credit (third in the region) compared to Australia's $US2.7 billion (11th in the region).

http://www.afr.com/news/world/asia/lowy-asia-power-index-australia-down-in-regio...


Saudis Trying to Influence Iraq’s Political Landscape With Export Credit

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 12 May 2018) At a recent conference in Kuwait, the Saudi kingdom pledged $1 billion in loans and $500 million in export credit to support Iraq's reconstruction after the war with IS, also known as Daesh. Saudi Arabia's rapprochement with Iraq in the run-up to its parliamentary elections appears to take place in the context of a new policy designed to expand its sphere of influence in the oil-exporting country, says a former diplomat.  The May 12 ballot will decide Iraq's leader for the next four years, when the government will face the monumental task of rebuilding entire cities and towns after decades of wars, internal strife and the massive harm inflicted by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/national/86222/saudis-trying-to-influence-...


World Bank Group’s MIGA to share risk with Japan’s NEXI through reinsurance

(Reinsurance News, Brighton, 9 May 2018) MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, and NEXI, Japan’s state-owned export credit agency, have entered an official agreement to share risk, through reinsurance, on investments made by Japanese firms in developing countries.

https://www.reinsurancene.ws/world-bank-groups-miga-to-share-risk-with-japans-ne...


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