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 September 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.

  • Ottawa orders Export Development Canada to examine lending practices
  • The South African ECA that can invest billions in public money on shadowy projects
  • Environmental groups to campaign against 'strategic' corporate lawsuits
  • China says it is helping Africa develop - not pile up ECA debt
  • Chinese oil firm agrees to secure funds for Nigeria's $2.8 B AKK pipeline project
  • Siemens closes in on massive Iraq deal with promise of German ECA support
  • UKEF office in UAE, a country accused of war crimes, promotes arms sales
  • China’s Exim Bank to boost lending to support exporters hit hard by trade war
  • International trade at a time of increased US and EU sanctions - What should ECAs do now?
  • Asian environmental groups strongly crliticize Korea Export-Import Bank support for overseas coal

Ottawa orders Export Development Canada to examine lending practices

(Globe and Mail, Toronto, 26 September 2018) Ottawa has ordered the nation’s export credit agency to consider more carefully the human-rights implications of loans and insurance it offers in support of Canadian businesses. A Sept. 24 letter from International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr to Martine Irman, chair of Export Development Canada’s board of directors, urged the Crown corporation to ensure its internal procedures accord with Canada’s obligations under international humanitarian law. Human-rights and environmental-advocacy groups have criticized EDC for decades over what they say is a pattern of giving financial assistance to companies involved in harmful projects overseas. “The agency is essentially self-governing in the areas like environment, human rights and anti-corruption,” Karyn Keenan, director at ECA-Watch member Above Ground. Above Ground's submission to EDC on strengthening environmental and human rights protection can be found here and their recommendations on bringing EDC’s climate change policy in line with Canada’s commitments can be found here.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ottawa-orders-export-developmen...


The South African ECA that can invest billions in public money on shadowy projects

(Daily Maverick, Johannesburg, 3 September 2018) The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) uses public funds for international projects it chooses to invest in. Right now, the agency is considering lending a part of $14-billion needed by US energy company Anadarko for a giant liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique. Four ECAs are showing interest in providing them with credit for $12-billion of that amount –Italy (SACE), Japan (JBIC), China (C-EXIM), the US (US EXIM) and South Africa. According to an EIA conducted for Anadarko by Environmental Resources Management/Impacto, there will be “major” negative environmental and social impacts during the construction and operational phases. According to ECIC CEO Mandisi Nkuhlu, they are not bound by the ECA transparency guidelines of the OECD. The ECAs involved have collectively contracted an Italian consulting firm, RINA, to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the project. For local communities and the environment the project will be disastrous. The project is leaving entire communities landless, with no livelihood, and insufficient resettlement and compensation, if any. Unique ecosystems such as mangroves, endangered species of sea life, ocean flora and pristine beaches will be put at great risk. ECAs have a history of funding projects that are sometimes corrupt, violate human and environmental rights, and are financially and ethically questionable. The Canadian ECA, Export Development Canada, financed $41-million of a $52-million jet sold by Canadian company Bombardier to the notorious Gupta family, who have been deeply embroiled in state capture and systemic corruption in South Africa. The Canadian agency lent the Guptas $41-million to purchase a Canadian product from a company that was struggling financially.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-09-03-sa-export-agency-invest-billi...


Environmental groups to campaign against 'strategic' corporate lawsuits

(Global Legal Post, London, 29 August 2018) 20 environmental and civil liberties groups have joined foceces to protest against companies using lawsuits they say are aimed at silencing critics. The ‘Protect the Protest’ task force is targeting what it says are known as strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs, which use legal action and the threat of financial risk to deter people and groups from speaking out against something they oppose. The twenty environmental and civil liberties groups say the lawsuits are aimed at limiting free speech and silencing critics. Katie Redford, co-founder and director of EarthRights International, says ‘we know from our own experience that this legal bullying tactic will work if it's not shut down.’

http://www.globallegalpost.com/corporate-counsel/environmental-groups-to-campaig...


China says it is helping africa develop - not pile up ECA debt

(Reuters, Beijing, 4 September 2018) A wave of African nations seeking to restructure their debt with China has served as a reality check for Beijing’s ties with the continent, though most of its countries still see Chinese lending as the best bet to develop their economies. China is helping Africa develop, not pile up debt, a top Chinese official said on Tuesday, as the government pushes back against criticism it is loading the continent with an unsustainable burden during a major summit in Beijing. Bloomberg noted that in recent months, Beijing has faced criticism about its debt practices from countries ranging from Australia to India, with even some Chinese academics airing doubts at home. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned against “a new version of colonialism” during a visit to Beijing last month after suspending a $20 billion Chinese-built rail project. Claims that China was an “economic predator” in Africa, pillaging natural resources and dragging it into a debt crisis, were “as false as they are sensational,” the Xinhua official news agency said in a commentary. Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged debt relief to some poorer African nations, attempting to push back against a major criticism of his signature Belt and Road Initiative. A recent Time Magazine opinion piece noted "As African countries sink deeper and deeper into Beijing’s carefully laid debt trap, the United States could pay a steep cost in reduced cooperation on counterterrorism and job creation.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-africa/china-says-it-is-helping-africa-...


Chinese oil firm agrees to secure funds for Nigeria's $2.8 B AKK pipeline project

(Daily Trust, Abuja, 3 September 2018) China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has assured the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of its unflinching commitment towards securing funding for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project. Financing for the 40-inch by 614km AKK gas pipeline, enabling connectivity between the East, West and North that is currently non-existent, is expected to cost about $2.8 billion, for the project described as the single biggest gas pipeline in the history of oil and gas operations in Nigeria. While 85 percent of the money is expected to be funded by the financiers which include Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China, and Infrastructure Bank of China with Sinosure, China’s Export Credit Agency (ECA) providing insurance cover, the remaining 15 percent will be provided by the contractors which include Oilserve/Oando consortium, as well as Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline (CPP) Bureau consortium.

https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/chinese-oil-firm-agrees-to-secure-funds-for-nnpcs-...


Siemens closes in on massive Iraq deal with promise of German ECA support

(Handelsblatt, Berlin, 24 September 2018) German engineering conglomerate Siemens is nearing a massive contract to boost Iraq’s power generation infrastructure. The deal is thought to be worth between €8 and €13 billion ($11.75 – $15.25 billion) and consists of numerous smaller projects. They would involve partnerships with local contractors, which would receive part of the sum. Siemens' chief Joe Kaeser meeting with Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, in Baghdad, came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel had put in a special call to Mr. al-Abadi in support of the deal, government sources told Handelsblatt. A senior official in the economics ministry joined Mr. Kaeser to Iraq and Ms. Merkel’s government has also promised extensive export credit guarantees. If successful, the contract will be one of the largest in the company’s history.

https://global.handelsblatt.com/companies/siemens-massive-iraq-deal-germany-ge-g...


UKEF office in UAE, a country accused of war crimes, promotes arms sales

(The Canary, London, 15 September 2018) UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently hailed the UAE’s important role and pioneering initiatives to promote international peace and security and combat extremism and terrorism. Javid’s comments come after the UN released a report on 28 August indicating the UAE may be guilty of committing war crimes in Yemen. In April 2018, the UK Government’s Export Credit Agency declared that the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which the UAE is a member, is a priority market and it established a “dedicated UK Export Finance team” based in the UAE. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade, the UAE is Britain’s ninth largest purchaser of arms. From 2008 to 2018, UK weapons sales to the UAE totalled nearly £904m, a number which increases to more than £7.3bn if “dual-use” technology is included.

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/news/2018/09/15/sajid-javid-hails-a-country-accused-...


China’s Exim Bank to boost lending to support exporters hit hard by trade war

(South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 21 September 2018) The Export-Import Bank of China, the country’s leading provider of export financing, will team up with other government agencies to help companies who have been hit hard by the US trade tariffs. Following Tuesday’s meeting of the State Council, China’s cabinet, Premier Li Keqiang announced a series of measures to support exporters, including cutting customs clearance red tape, reducing the cost of customs procedures, expanding export credit insurance and increasing export tax rebates. The announcement came hours after the US imposed tariffs on an additional US$200 billion of Chinese goods, on top of the $50 billion Chinese imports already sanctioned.

https://www.scmp.com/news/article/2165169/chinas-exim-bank-boost-lending-effort-...


International trade at a time of increased US and EU sanctions - What should ECAs do now?

(Out-Law, London, 4 September 2018)  A new UK authority called the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has been established to better inform businesses of the risks that arise from financial and trade sanctions that restrict trade and transactions with sanctioned persons, businesses and certain sectors. Arms embargoes and restrictions on exporting equipment and technology that can be used by the military are common and generally understood. What is also common, but less well understood, are the prohibitions or licence requirements on doing business with the thousands of people who are listed on sanctions lists or connected with such persons, and the sectoral trade restrictions can apply. For example, US government officials are warning UK banks (and OECD ECAs?) not to breach US sanctions against Iran and Russia. China's state-controlled Sinopec is pressing ahead with a $1.06bn upgrade project at Iran's 400,000 b/d Abadan refinery, despite the imminent return of US sanctions on Iran's energy sector. Companies have been rethinking plans to invest in Iran since the US withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions. Some contracts have been cancelled with state-owned NIOC and its subsidiaries.

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/september/international-trade-increased...


Asian environmental groups strongly crliticize Korea Export-Import Bank support for overseas coal

(Korea Times, Bangkok, 9 September 2018) [translation] At the UN office in Bangkok, Thailand, where negotiations were held to prepare detailed guidelines on the implementation of the 2015 Paris Convention on Climate Change, there were dozens of Asian environmental group activists including Japan's Friends of the Earth and WWF China Office. They criticized Korea, China, and Japan for their financial support for coal-fired power plants in Asia. "South Korea is one of the world's largest financial supporters of coal-fired power," said Bhadiy Dindinger, a member of the INSAF environmental group in India. "It has a huge impact on health damage and climate change."

http://www.eca-watch.org/dodgy-deals/asian-environmental-groups-strongly-crlitic...


What's New August 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.

  • Friends of the Earth warns against Trump's Ex-Im Bank nominee
  • European Ombudsman calls for greater transparency of export credit agencies
  • Ilisu Dam: Dutch NCP concludes first-ever OECD Guidelines case on cultural rights
  • ECAs in international politics - US and Germany vs Turkey
  • US, Australia and Japan to Invest in Asia to counter China
  • South Africa to co-chair Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit
  • Indian Export Opportunities from US-China Trade Differences Need Export Credit Support
  • Trump’s sanctions halt trade credit insurers’ return to Iran
  • Danish ECA freezes new guarantees to Turkey over lira crisis
  • Adani's coal mining project in Australia may hinge on court
  • ECAs flock to finance huge Peruvian mine project
  • France's CIFAL ready to help Uzbekistan develop nuclear energy
  • Russian ECA financed weapons in Armenia risk escalation of hostilities
  • UKEF backs country’s largest export deal with Israel
  • Trinidadian form minister awaits Australian response re naval vessel purchase funded by EFIC

Friends of the Earth warns against Trump's Ex-Im Bank nominee

(Washington Examiner, Washington, 23 August 2018) The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday voted 25-0 in favor of Kimberly Reed to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. export credit agency, which the group Friends of the Earth fears could be a move to subsidize fossil fuel projects around the world. The environmental group warns that billions of dollars in federal subsidies could be released once Trump's nominee is seated, as 13 fossil fuel projects are still pending at the bank. “There are serious concerns that Ex-Im under Reed will return to its past practice of supporting projects that damage the global climate, harm community health, violate human rights and hasten corruption,” said Kate DeAngelis, senior international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth, after the vote.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/friends-of-the-earth-warns-agai...


European Ombudsman calls for greater transparency of export credit agencies

(Bankwatch, Prague, 9 July 2018)  The European Ombudsman has sided with the civil society demanding the European Commission to improve its oversight of the EU Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). The decision upholds an earlier ruling that required the Commission to ensure better compliance of these financial institutions with the EU law.

https://bankwatch.org/blog/ombudsman-calls-for-greater-transparency-of-export-cr...


Ilisu Dam: Dutch NCP concludes first-ever OECD Guidelines case on cultural rights

(OECD Watch, Amsterdam, 20 August 2018) NCP finds company failed to do due diligence and breached the Guidelines at Turkey's Ilisu mega-dam. On 20 August 2018, the Dutch NCP released its final statement on the case of FIVAS et al v. Bresser, the first OECD Guidelines case filed on the subject of cultural rights as human rights. The statement determines Bresser “has not fully met the expectations and satisfied the due diligence criteria of the OECD Guidelines”. In July 2017, Fivas helped Turkish communities file a complaint with the Dutch NCP against Bresser, an SME that performs foundation relocation projects. The Ilisu Dam was the first ever project to have export credit guarantees from European governments withdrawn after the guarantees had already been agreed. ECA Watch members campaigned hard to make this happen.

https://mailchi.mp/7d9c602b92e3/case-alert-new-oecd-guidelines-complaint-against...


ECAs in international politics - US and Germany vs Turkey

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 28 August 2018) When President Trump agreed to press Israel to release a Turkish prisoner in exchange for Turkey's release of an American Christian pastor, Israel complied but Turkey didn't, resulting in a crippling increase in US tarifs on Turkey, including threats of possible export credit sanctions. In a similar case in July 2018, a German journalist arrested in Turkey was released when Germany, Turkey’s biggest trading partner, lifted export credit guarantee sanctions implemented a year earlier to protest the arrests and the ongoing Turkish state of emergency (OHAL). When faced with the prospect of losing export credits and a project to update Turkey's German-made Leopard tanks, Erdoğan changed course and freed Die Welt correspondent DenizYücel without a trial. Turkey had originally asked the US release a Turkish banker convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions as well as to waive U.S. government fines totaling billions of dollars against Turkey's state owned Halkbank over violations of US sanctions on Iran.




US, Australia and Japan to Invest in Asia to counter China

(NASDAQ, New York, 3 August 2018) The United States, Japan and Australia are collaborating to form an alliance that will aim to finance infrastructure projects across Asia. The partnership is a move to lower China's influence on the Indo-Pacific region through the Chinese government's Belt and Road initiative. A 30 July joint statement by U.S., Australian and Japanese official investment, finance and export-credit bodies noted that: "The United States, Japan, and Australia have formed a trilateral partnership to mobilise investment in projects that drive economic growth, create opportunities, and foster a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific."

https://www.nasdaq.com/help/contact-information.aspx


South Africa to co-chair Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit

(Devdiscourse, Haryana India, 27 August 2018) President Cyril Ramaphosa is next week set to travel to Beijing, where he will co-chair the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit. The gathering is set to put infrastructure and industrial development at center stage. “These areas are aimed at addressing the three bottlenecks in Africa, as identified by China and Africa, which are hampering Africa’s development, namely, inadequate infrastructure; lack of professional and skilled personnel and a funding shortage. To facilitate the implementation of these measures, China announced the provision of US$60 billion for funding support, which includes US$5 billion for grants and zero-interest loans and US$35 billion for concessional loans and export credit and US$5 billion for Technical and Industrial Project Funding. To build the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, China committed to implementing 10 cooperation plans with Africa, namely in the areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security. To facilitate the implementation of these measures, China announced the provision of US$60 billion for funding support, which includes US$5 billion for grants and zero-interest loans and US$35 billion for concessional loans and export credit and US$5 billion for Technical and Industrial Project Funding.

https://www.devdiscourse.com/Article/137366-south-africa-to-co-chair-forum-on-ch...


Indian Export Opportunities from US-China Trade Differences Need Export Credit Support

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 7 August 2018) India can focus on numerous goods for expanding its exports to the US and China markets following the hike in duties by both countries on imports from each other, said the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). With the US imposing additional duty of 25% on imports worth $34 billion from China, certain Indian products may become more competitive, according to CII. It was noted that Indian companies require better access to export credit to intensify the export effort.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/us-china-trade-differences-to-...


Trump’s sanctions halt trade credit insurers’ return to Iran

(Global Trade Review, London, 18 August 2018) Two weeks after renewed US sanctions against Iran, it appears trade credit insurers are winding down the little business they had reinstated in the country since 2016. Arash Shahraini, board member and deputy CEO of the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) stated that "After the announcement of the US sanctions, all private credit insurers who had some interests in dealing with the US stopped their cover on Iran. Now as far as I know, only export credit agencies (ECAs) continue to give cover to Iran.” Technically speaking, cover cannot be cancelled retrospectively, so companies should be able to use the insurance they have already subscribed to in case of default due to the re-implementation of sanctions. Iranian companies that have made use of private insurance will now have to turn to other options, such as ECAs. “Right now, I am in the process of negotiations for some transactions and projects for getting cover from ECAs for Iranian projects and transactions,” noted Katayoon Valizadeh, a senior consultant in credit insurance and risk management in Tehran.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/mena/trumps-sanctions-halt-trade-credit-insurers-r...


Danish ECA freezes new guarantees to Turkey over lira crisis

(Global Trade Review, London, 15 August 2018) The Danish export credit agency EKF has frozen all new guarantees to Turkey, as concerns about the country’s economic health continue to mount. The Turkish lira has lost more than 45% of its value this year and continued its plunge this week amid a growing geopolitical storm between Turkey and the US.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/danish-government-freezes-new-guarantees-to...


Adani's coal mining project in Australia may hinge on court

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 9 August 2018) For the Ahmedabad-headquartered Adani group, the fate of its ambitious coal mine-to-rail project in Australia could hinge on a court case filed by native owners of the land in question, near the Carmichael mine in the province of Queensland. Environment groups and others in opposition have alleged the current ruling party in Australia has helped Adani in getting regulations and clearances for the project, including possible EFIC support. Adani had signed a land agreement with the local authorities now being contested in court by native Wangan and Jagalingou land claimants. Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners in the area did not consent to the Carmichael mine. Since 2012, their claim is that group meetings rejected a Land Use Agreement with Adani four times, the latest in December 2017. Five members of the W&J Native Title filed case in the high court on behalf of the claim group in August 2017. Sources said Adani had not been able to tie up any financing for the coal project. Jeyakumar Janakraj, chief executive and country head, Adani Group Australia, told this publication last year that the company was in talks with leading global financers and export credit funds from China and Korea in this regard.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/adani-s-rail-project-in-aust...


ECAs flock to finance huge Peruvian mine project

(Global Trade Review, London, 22 August 2018) Peruvian miner Minsur has secured US$900mn in project financing for its Mina Justa copper mine. The lenders are: BBVA Continental, BBVA, Banco de Crédito del Perú, Crédit Agricole, Export Development Canada (EDC), Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC, the Australian ECA), ING, KfW Ipex-Bank, Natixis, SG Americas Securities, Société Générale and the Export Import Bank of Korea (Kexim). Mina Justa is set to produce 100,000 tonnes of copper a year when it comes online in 2020. Total project cost is expected to run to US$1.77bn, with Minsur providing the rest of the capital. The mine will be located in the district of Marcona, in Nazca province, in the Ica region of Peru.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/americas/lenders-flock-to-huge-peruvian-project-fi...


France's CIFAL ready to help Uzbekistan develop nuclear energy

(Trend News Agency, Baku, 24 August 2018) French CIFAL company is ready to help Uzbekistan in the development of nuclear energy noting they are ready to provide their technological solutions and share experience to train specialists of Uzbekistan in the field of nuclear energy. CIFAL plans to support the Uzbekistan's Agency for the Development of Nuclear Energy "Uzatom" in the implementation of technical, commercial and financial negotiations with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" and also take part in the solution of issues of financing of the project in coordination with the Uzbek and Russian sides. The Russian side proposes to build in Uzbekistan a station consisting of two modern blocks of pressurized-water reactors VVER-1200 of "3+" generation. The project for the construction of a similar station, which Rosatom is building in Bangladesh, is estimated at about $13 billion, of which $11.3 billion are provided by Russia as an officially supported export credit.

https://menafn.com/1097337844/French-CIFAL-ready-to-help-Uzbekistan-develop-nucl...


Russian ECA financed weapons in Armenia risk escalation of hostilities

(VESTNIK, Moscow, 13 August 2018) Arms supplies on credit are a usual practice. Almost all countries involved in the sphere of military-technical cooperation practice it. The reasons for this may be different, but usually they are of purely political nature: this is the way a country that provides a state export credit for the purchase of weapons produced in the same country indicates that the recipient country is considered as if not an ally, then a very close partner, friend, the Independent Military Review writes. That's who the Republic of Armenia (RA) was for Russia for a long time. Yerevan received both political and military support (including the Russian military base) and economic preferences from Moscow. The Kremlin's position on Nagorno-Karabakh was also quite clear. That is why no one was surprised when in 2015 the Russian Federation agreed to provide the RA with a $200 million loan to buy weapons. Last month, deliveries under this loan agreement, which entered into force in February 2016, were completed. In recent years, the balance of forces in the South Caucasus has been violated because of the growing military power of Azerbaijan, which threatened the resumption of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Arms supplies from Russia will help to slow down the escalation of the conflict, bringing the military advantage of one of the parties to an approximate equality. But not everyone is happy to see the military-technical cooperation of Moscow and Yerevan. According to a Worldwide Threats Assessment report of the director of US National Intelligence Daniel Coats, "both sides' reluctance to compromise, mounting domestic pressures, Azerbaijan's steady military modernization, and Armenia's acquisition of new Russian equipment sustain the risk of large-scale hostilities in 2018."

http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Russian-weapons-in-Armenia.html


UKEF backs country’s largest export deal with Israel

(Global Trade Review, London, 24 August 2018) UK Export Finance (UKEF), the country’s export credit agency, is providing a guarantee for a US$125mn loan from Citi to El Al Israel Airlines to finance their purchase of one Rolls-Royce-powered Boeing 787 aircraft. The deal is part of Rolls-Royce’s contract to supply engines for 16 such aircraft for the Israeli airline. According to UK international trade secretary Liam Fox, this contract is “the largest single export deal the UK has had with Israel, and a marker of the strength of the trade relationship between the two countries”. The announcement comes days after the UK government launched its new export strategy, which lays the foundation for how the government plans to support exporters in the years ahead.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/ukef-backs-countrys-largest-export-deal-wit...


Trinidadian former minister awaits Australian response re naval vessel purchase funded by EFIC

(Trinidad & Tobago Newsday, Port of Spain, 15 August 2018) Former minister Devant Maharaj today said he is still waiting for a reply from the Australian government about concerns he has about alleged corruption in the procurement of two naval vessels for the Coast Guard. Maharaj told Newsday he sent correspondence to Australian Attorney General Christian Porter outlining his concerns by e-mail and a hard copy of his letter was delivered to the Australian High Commission in St Clair as well. Maharaj insisted six fast patrol boats acquired from Austalia under the former administration were not suited for TT's waters. Trinidad's National Security Minister Stuart Young said the purchase of 12 Damen naval vessels by the former government prior to the September 2015 general elections is now under international criminal investigation, and attacked Maharaj's allegations of corruption. Funding for the procurement of the vessels was to come through the Export Credit Agency of Australia.

https://newsday.co.tt/2018/08/15/devant-waits-for-australia/


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-...


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