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 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...


What's New April 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.

  • Above Ground's Recommendations on Anti-Corruption Policies in EDC
  • Jubilee Australia: EFIC-funded PNG LNG Has Hurt PNG's Economy
  • Brexit Britain's UKEF looks to Commonwealth 2.0
  • UKEF support for arms sales under fire
  • Australian defence industry export plan release imminent
  • Russia to start shipping ECA funded arms to Armenia
  • Export Credit Agencies and a changing climate
  • JBIC & Kexim among lenders of $2.45 billion for Vietnam coal power plant
  • China-Africa summit preparations in high gear
  • Indian company defrauds banks despite Indian ECA caution list
  • EU may offer credit for Iranian trade if Trump pulls out of nuclear deal
  • Financial Times: President Erdoğan responds to pressure
  • German Bank, Norwegan ECA Join Responsible Ship Recycling Initiative
  • Airbus gets first European export credit since probes started
  • Russian ECA may finance construction of nuclear plant in Uzbekistan

Above Ground's Recommendations on Anti-Corruption Policies in EDC

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 30 April 2018) In this report, ECA Watch member Above Ground examines reforms needed to raise Export Development Canada’s anti-corruption client screening to a more robust standard. The recommendations are informed by leading anti-corruption policies and guidance documents from other export credit agencies, international financial organizations and the private sector. A Bombardier jet, the subject of an EDC loan to South Africa's Gupta family amid multiple corruption claims, has reportedly returned to South Africa, although Gupta familiy members have still effectively disappeared. Since 2016 the British, French and German export credit agencies have blocked support for Airbus on the basis of bribery concerns. The Above Ground report notes that in the second half of 2017, EDC provided Airbus with between $750 million and $1.5 billion in financing, as well as citing examples of questionable support for SNC-Lavalin and Kinross Gold. Canada's Auditor General today released a hard hitting report noting that EDC is mishandling loan risks and keeping board members in the dark about key financing arrangements.

http://aboveground.ngo/anti-corruption-and-export-development-canada/


Jubilee Australia: EFIC-funded PNG LNG Has Hurt PNG's Economy

(Jubilee Australia, Sydney, 29 April 2018) A new report on the economy of Papua New Guinea will reopen the case for the Australian government to be held accountable for the negligent decision to lend AU$500 million (US$376.5 million) of taxpayers' money to the PNG-LNG project. Jubilee Australia’s new report,‘Double or Nothing: The Broken Economic Promises of PNG LNG’, notes that “In 2008 Australian economics consultants, ACIL-Tasman provided inflated projections of growth in employment, essential services, household income and the broader economy if the PNG LNG project went ahead. This new analysis proves just how misleading these promises were and how PNG has slipped back into the poor policies associated with the resource curse. Currently, on almost all economic indicators, the people of PNG would have been better off had the project not happened at all." An Australian Broadcasting Corporation business report notes that the immense benefits predicted to flow from Papua New Guinea's liquified natural gas project have not been realised, and the country's economy has even gone backwards on some indicators.

http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/latest-news/new-jubilee-report-shows-that-efic-f...


Brexit Britain's UKEF looks to Commonwealth 2.0

(EURACTV, Brussels, 6 April 201) It used to be a Eurosceptic fantasy for the Commonwealth to replace the EU as the UK’s main trading partner. That may still be a fantasy, but Theresa May’s government sees the organisation, which includes Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Singapore, as a launch pad for negotiating bilateral trade agreements and has earmarked six Commonwealth members as priorities for renewed incentives to promote trade and investment. Britain has already promised to double the current export credit finance for trade and investment with South Africa to £3.5 billion. South Africa is critical of the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African regional blocs and expects Britain, once outside the EU, to offer better terms. In economic terms the Commonwealth is a fraction of the size of the EU market. Forty-two percent of the UK’s exports went to the EU in 2017, compared to around 7% for the ten largest Commonwealth markets.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/brexit-britain-looks-to-commonwe...


UKEF support for arms sales under fire

(London Review of Books, London, 26 April 2018) Arms exports constitute around 1.6% of total UK exports in value but receive 50% of export credits in the form of loans or guarantees, underwritten by the taxpayer. Almost half of British arms exports go to Saudi Arabia, up fivefold since the kingdom intervened in Yemen’s civil war. In July 2014, in an effort to pre-empt embarrassing revelations that might emerge from the UN’s decommissioning of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, the British foreign secretary made a tactical confession. Between 1983 and 1986, Britain had approved sales of chemical weapons precursors to Syria, which was known to be developing a massive weapons programme. William Hague told Parliament that the chemicals were probably ‘used by Syria in their programmes to produce nerve agents, including sarin’. In March 2015, the Committees on Arms Export Controls said that ‘the decision of the present government to give two export licence approvals for dual-use chemicals to Syria in January 2012 after the civil war had started in Syria in 2011 was irresponsible.’

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2018/04/26/lloyd-russell-moyle/priority-markets/


Australian defence industry export plan release imminent

(Defence Connect, Sydney, 18 April 2018) The much-awaited Defence Industrial Capability Plan is set to be released soon, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has confirmed. The plan, which will aim to give Australian businesses a better idea of how to capitalise on the $200 billion of investment going into the industry, is set to be released before the federal budget on 8 May this year. The soon-to-be-released plan includes a new Australian Defence Export Office, Australia's first Defence Export Advocate, a $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility to be administered by Australia's export credit agency Efic and a $20 million a year commitment to implement the strategy.

https://wwaw.defenceconnect.com.au/key-enablers/2172-industry-plan-release-immin...


Russia to start shipping ECA funded arms to Armenia

(PanARMENIAN.Net, Yerevan, 29 March 2018) Russia will begin supplying arms to Armenia under a new defense loan agreement worth $100 million in 2018. In June 2015, an agreement was signed to provide Armenia with a Russian state export credit worth $200 million to purchase Russian-made military products. 18 contracts were signed within the framework of the loan, Armenia’s defense ministry reportedly said.

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/253625/


Export Credit Agencies and a changing climate

(Observer Research Foundation Online, New Delhi, 19 April 2018) The role of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in promoting climate compatible development has been controversial. Despite independent and collaborative efforts from countries ensuring that [environmental degradation] is not an option when their ECAs extend support, fossil fuel financing has overshadowed ECAs energy financing portfolio. Oil Change reports that 88 percent of G20 ECA energy financing went towards fossil fuels. One of the worst performer amongst ECAs of G20 countries is the US EXIM Bank. Anecdotal evidences suggest that [ExIm's] support has enabled American exporters to walk the globe leaving behind green footprints. Yet an inquiry in our paper on the EXIM Bank’s authorisation portfolio paints a relatively different picture. [ExIm] authorisations towards environmentally beneficial exports and renewable energy exports constituted only 1.83% and 0.98% respectively of the Bank’s total authorisation. Evidently, the Bank’s performance has been dismal at best.

https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/export-credit-agencies-changing-climate/


JBIC & Kexim among lenders of $2.45 billion for Vietnam coal power plant

(Straits Times, Singaport, 18 April 2018) DBS and OCBC are among a group of banks and lending agencies that have signed off on financing of about US$1.87 billion (S$2.45 billion) for a controversial coal-fired power station in Vietnam. The 1,200MW Nghi Son 2 power station in Tinh Gia district, Thanh Hoa province, is one of a number of large coal-fired power plants planned to meet Vietnam's energy needs. But green groups, the International Energy Agency and the World Bank fear such big coal projects will exacerbate climate change by locking in years of polluting emissions. Burning coal is a major source of local air pollution and carbon emissions blamed for heating up the planet. The loan was signed last Friday (April 13) with export credit agencies Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim); Japanese banks Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, MUFG, Mizuho and Shinsei Bank; DBS and OCBC; and Maybank of Malaysia. US Ex Im turned down funding in February 2018.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/dbs-and-ocbc-among-lenders-of-245-bill...


China-Africa summit preparations in high gear

(New Times, Rwanda, 29 April 2018) Preparations for the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will take place in September in South Africa are in high gear officials have said. In the 2015 summit, China pledged a new round of funding support to Africa’s development, worth $60 billion. The $60 billion pot was divided into $5 billion of free aid and interest-free loans, $35 billion of preferential loans and export credit and $5 billion dollars of additional capital for the China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs, and $10 billion of funding for a China-Africa production capacity cooperation. “Our investments in Africa exceeded 100 billion US Dollars and Chinese enterprises in Africa exceeded more than 3000; and over 70 percent of these are private Chinese companies,” said Dai Bing, the Director General of the Department of African affairs in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

http://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/china-africa-summit-preparations-high-gear-offici...


Indian company defrauds banks despite Indian ECA caution list

(Financial Express, New Delhi, 5 April 2018) The CBI today said it had registered a criminal case against a Vadodara-based company dealing in electric cable and equipment and its directors for allegedly cheating various banks to the tune of Rs 2,654 crore (US$400 million). The company and its directors managed to get the term loans and credit facilities in spite of the fact that they were named in the Reserve Bank of India’s defaulters list and ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation) caution list at the time of the initial sanction of credit limits by the consortium, the agency alleged.

https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/banking-finance/no-end-to-bank-scams-c...


EU may offer credit for Iranian trade if Trump pulls out of nuclear deal

(Guardian, London, 23 March 2018) The EU is looking to provide European companies trading with Iran access to emergency credit lines and funding support if Donald Trump presses ahead with his plan to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. A US pullout, leading to the reimposition of a tough sanctions regime, would expose multinational firms trading with Iran to potentially devastating loss of financial support by commercial banks. The US is due to make a decision on 12 May, and it has the potential to pitch Europe and the US into dispute.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/23/eu-may-offer-credit-to-firms-tradi...


Financial Times: President Erdoğan responds to pressure

(Financial Times, London, 28 April 2018) President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has brought forward by a year and a half elections he intends will crown his quest for one-man rule in Turkey. One reason for the snap early election is that Turkey’s overheating economy is vulnerable. The president needs to provide jobs and services to his base. Despite his xenophobic tub-thumping and absolute intolerance of dissent, Mr Erdogan does respond to pressure and has released some journalists. The German government, although courting Ankara’s help in holding back the flood of Syrian refugees, lost patience with what it saw as hostage-taking. It ordered a travel advisory steering German tourists away from Turkey, a review of export credit guarantees for German companies trading with Turkey, and a freeze on defence contracts.

https://www.ft.com/content/bdacd27e-4a3d-11e8-8ae9-4b5ddcca99b3


German Bank, Norwegan ECA Join Responsible Ship Recycling Initiative

(Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, 25 April 2018) The German bank KfW IPEX-Bank has become the first German bank to join the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards initiative. With a lending volume of EUR 13.9 billion ($17 billion) in 2017, KfW IPEX-Bank is one of the top five ship financiers in the world, and, by joining the initiative, highlights that it is setting high standards for the environmental and social compatibility of its financing. At the end of May 2017, ABN Amro, ING and NIBC established the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards. The initiative now has eight members worldwide, with Nordea, DNB, SEB and Export Credit Norway having joined the three founding banks.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/german-bank-joins-responsible-ship-recycl...


Airbus gets first European export credit since probes started

(Reuters, Paris, 27 April 2018) Airbus has received European export credits for the first time since public funding was suspended in 2016 at the outset of a corruption investigation, the company said on Friday. The credit was granted under enhanced compliance procedures agreed between Airbus and the UK, French and German export credit agencies after the company’s own discovery of misleading applications for the aid triggered the Anglo-French probe.

https://www.reuters.com/article/airbus-results-exports/airbus-gets-first-europea...


Russian ECA may finance construction of nuclear plant in Uzbekistan

(UzDaily, Tashkent, 20 April 201) Uzbekistan plans to sign an agreement with Russia on construction of a nuclear power plant in 2018. Currently, Rosatom is building a similar station in Bangladesh at a cost estimated at about US$13 billion, of which US$11.3 billion is provided by Russia as a state export credit.

https://www.uzdaily.com/articles-id-43588.htm


What's New March 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.

  • Bombardier-Gupta affair provokes timely public debate on accountability of EDC
  • Report finds major banks ramped up fossil fuel financing to $115 billion in 2017
  • Judge Demands Explanation in Pipeline Lawsuit
  • UKEF seeks new markets at Brexit looms
  • Hermes as a factor in German Turkish relations?
  • Turkish Bridge Attracts $2.8 Billion From Banks & KEXIM
  • Saudi Arabia’s use of ECA finance in Iraq is making Iran nervous
  • Australia moves up defence exporter list
  • Canadian business optimistic about potential in China: EDC
  • New ICC report confirms trade & export finance are not risky business
  • Banking on Energy: The Determinants of Export Credit Agency Energy Financing from China and Japan
  • Italy's SACE plans to back nearly $5bn in UAE projects

Bombardier-Gupta affair provokes timely public debate on accountability of EDC

http://aboveground.ngo/bombardier-gupta-accountability-edc/

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 26 March 20188) Ongoing media coverage regarding the sale of a Bombardier jet to the Gupta family in South Africa has triggered an important public debate about the accountability and transparency of Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC). With Parliament set to review the agency’s governing legislation this year, the timing for such a discussion could not be better. In response to a Globe and Mail op-ed asserting that public oversight of EDC “is not just scant, it’s non-existent,” EDC recently published a statement in which it defends its “exceptional track record,” arguing that it operates transparently, that it is subject to “multiple levels of government and public oversight” and that it welcomes public scrutiny of its operations.

We offer several observations to further this important debate.




Report finds major banks ramped up fossil fuel financing to $115 billion in 2017

(BankTrack, Amsterdam, 28 March 2018) A report released today by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Honor The Earth, endorsed by over 50 organisations around the world, reveals that in spite of the urgent climate crisis, 2017 was a year of backsliding by private banks. Despite 2017 being the costliest year on record for weather disasters, the new report reveals that banks increased extreme fossil fuel financing last year [US$115 billion], led by a more than doubling in lending to tar sands companies and pipelines.The report provides invaluable data on specific banks and sectoral investments. In our November 2017 What's New, ECA Watch noted that export credit agencies fund almost $40 billion worth of fossil fuel projects each year. (Some of that overlapping as guarantees for private banks.) That is a whopping 12 times more than what they spend on clean energy projects.

http://mailchi.mp/banktrack/report-finds-major-banks-ramped-up-fossil-fuel-finan...


Judge Demands Explanation in Pipeline Lawsuit

(WTOP, Washington, 30 March 2018) Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners in August sued Earth First, Greenpeace and BankTrack for up to $1 billion, alleging they disseminated false and misleading information about the $3.8 billion pipeline that’s now moving oil from North Dakota to Illinois, and instigated violent protests while the pipeline was under construction. Greenpeace and BankTrack maintain the lawsuit is meritless and an attack on free speech. The Center for Constitutional Rights maintains Earth First is an unstructured social movement or philosophy, similar to Black Lives Matter, and can’t be sued. However, U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson says Earth First has been a listed plaintiff in three federal lawsuits in the 1980s and 1990s, involving a water project in Arizona, a wilderness area in Oregon and a New Mexico canyon important to American Indians. “If Earth First can sue, it seems to me that it is subject to being sued,” Wilson said in a March 22 order.

https://wtop.com/national/2018/03/judge-demands-explanation-in-dakota-access-law...


UKEF seeks new markets at Brexit looms

(Arabian Business, Dubai, 30 March 201) As the spectre of Brexit looms, speculation has swirled that the European Union’s loss will be the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) gain. British firms have been eyeing international expansion ahead of the country’s departure from the economic and political bloc for some time, and these closer economic ties are now rapidly becoming a reality. The opening of a permanent UK Export Finance office in Dubai is a clear sign of a booming post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the Middle East. In addition to the GCC, UKEF is looking to African infrastructure projects. The UK’s Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith recently noted that the decision for the UK to move away from the European Union provides an opportunity to re-engage and refresh the way we operate across Africa. “For example, the UKEF has the ability to support infrastructure projects in South Africa (up to £4bn), Kenya (up to £1bn) and Nigeria (up to £750m). British home secretary Amber Rudd recently celebrated the strength and depth of the UK and Pakistan's "shared history" in announcing that UKEF would double its support, allowing Pakistan’s buyers to access finance to source high-quality UK goods and services.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/politics-economics/393226-how-the-uk-is-doubling-...


Hermes as a factor in German Turkish relations?

(Handelsblatt, Berlin, 7 March 201) Turkey and Germany recently agreed to try to “normalize” their fraught relationship. Turkey had adopted hostage-taking as an instrument of foreign policy, with Germany being a target. Germany’s response was to reconsider economic aid and export credit guarantees, to advise German tourists against travel to Turkey, and to put weapons deliveries to Turkey on hold. Between 2006 and 2011 Germany had delivered 354 Leopard 2 tanks to Turkey... Nevertheless, there is every sign that Germany is intent on going back to business as usual as soon as possible. One German-Turkish joint venture, for instance, is helping Turkey to construct its own battle tank, the Altay. The German partner, Rheinmetall, will produce the first 100-200 tanks of the 1,000 planned.

https://global.handelsblatt.com/opinion/germany-must-not-sell-soul-turkey-restor...


Turkish Bridge Attracts $2.8 Billion From Banks & KEXIM

(Bloomberg, London, 1 March 2018) A consortium of South Korean and Turkish construction firms are raising 2.3 billion euros ($2.8 b) from a group of about 20 banks and South Korea's export credit agency to build a 3.1 billion euro suspension bridge and toll roads in western Turkey.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-01/turkey-south-korea-jv-is-said...


Saudi Arabia’s use of ECA finance in Iraq is making Iran nervous

(Economist, London, 8 March 2018) At a conference in Kuwait last month, the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, pledged $1bn in loans and $500m in export credit to support Iraq’s reconstruction after the war with Islamic State (IS). Saudi interest in Iraq was initially pricked by America, which has been marshalling Gulf support to help stem Iran’s push west. Iraq, under Saddam, threatened to invade Saudi Arabia. More recently, it has allowed Shia militias backed by Iran to set up camp on the Saudi border. In response the kingdom, which considers itself the region’s Sunni champion, is accused of bankrolling Sunni jihadists in Iraq. In 2015 Muhammad bin Salman was central to restoring diplomatic relations with Iraq and last year reopened the kingdom’s borders. He has shifted money from Sunni politicians to more effective Shia ones. Diplomats note the disparity in help offered by Saudi Arabia and Iran, which pledged nothing at the February conference in Kuwait. “Having failed to outfight Iran, the Saudis now want to outspend it,” says a delighted Iraqi official. Meanwhile, EU officials are trying to think of mechanisms to counter potential future sanctions against European companies and banks, the more important challenge is how to entice Iran to remain committed to the nuclear deal, even if Washington withdraws. Iranian officials have been clear that Tehran would only stay committed if it receives enough benefits from staying in the deal.

https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21738405-kingdom-eyeing-so...


Australia moves up defence exporter list

(Defence Connect, North Sydney, 13 March 2018) The latest Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report looking at trends in international arms transfers has seen Australia move up to 19th place among the top 25 largest exporters of major arms. News of the move to 19th place comes just weeks after the federal government unveiled its Defence Export Strategy, which outlined its ambitions to become a top 10 major arms exporter. A $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility will be administered by Australia's export credit agency, Efic.

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/key-enablers/2029-australia-moves-up-defence-e...


Canadian business optimistic about potential in China: EDC

(Xinhua, Ottawa, 21 March 2018) There are currently over 1,000 Canadian companies doing business in China, more then 600 of them supported by the EDC, the country's export credit agency which offers trade finance, export credit insurance, bonding services and foreign market expertise, EDC's Liew told Xinhua in a phone interview from Hong Kong. China and Canada plan to double their bilateral trade volumes during the decade from 2015 to 2025. China remains Canada's second largest trade partner, second largest export destination and second largest import source for years.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-03/21/c_137053585.htm


New ICC report confirms trade & export finance are not risky business

(International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, 6 March 2018) The 2017 ICC report draws on information from 22 member banks to present a global view of the credit risk profiles of trade and export finance transactions. It is based on over US$10.5 trillion of exposures and more than 20 million trade finance transactions from 2008 to 2016—constituting approximately 40% of global traditional trade finance flows. The trade finance products in the register are import letters of credit, export letters of credit, loans for import/export, and performance guarantees.

https://iccwbo.org/media-wall/news-speeches/new-icc-report-confirms-trade-export...


Banking on Energy: The Determinants of Export Credit Agency Energy Financing from China and Japan

(Global Development Policy Cente, Boston, 28 February 2018) ABSTRACT  In a very short period, Export-Import Bank of China (CHEXIM) and China Development Bank (CDB) have become some of the largest Export Credit Agencies in the world. This paper examines the extent to which CHEXIM and CDB behave similarly to Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), their Japanese counterpart in energy loans approval. Utilizing a new database on publicized overseas loans for energy from the two banks, this paper econometrically analyses the determinants of CHEXIM and JBIC’s overseas energy loans in a comparative perspective. Like their Japanese counterparts, the Chinese banks exhibit a certain degree of concern for the recipient’s domestic economy but exhibits risk seeking tendencies as well. Unlike current JBIC energy loans, Chinese energy loans have a significant correlation to China’s growing energy dependence. Contrary to c,laims that China’s ECA is a tool to gain geopolitical advantage; geopolitical concerns do not appear to be a determinant of CHEXIM’s overseas finance. (PDF file)

http://www.bu.edu/gdp/files/2018/03/Economy-in-Command_Ye_Draft_26.01.pdf


Italy's SACE plans to back nearly $5bn in UAE projects

(Arabian Business, Dubai, 3 March 2018) Italy's SACE says evaluating nearly $5bn of UAE projects Export credit agency sees its exposure in the Middle East almost triple to $14.7bn since opening offices in Dubai. It said growth is expected to continue in the region as it is currently evaluating new projects in the MENA region worth €12 billion ($14.7 billion) – nearly $5 billion of which is dedicated to the UAE.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/politics-economics/390486-italys-sace-says-evalua...


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