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.

Featured publications and stories

What's New November 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.

  • Bringing Accountability and Transparency to Export Development Canada’s Practice
  • Report highlights EDC’s multibillion dollar support for oil and gas industries
  • Trading away EU principles in the name of national export interests
  • ECA Support for Coal in the Face of OECD Financing Restrictions
  • The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?
  • UK Government considering UKEF deal with Saudi Aramco
  • EXIM Bank's fate tied to the outcome of Senate midterms
  • Uganda expects ECA pipeline financing deal by June 2019
  • Middle East Politics and Export Credits
  • Australia splashes ECA cash in the Pacific as China fears loom

Bringing Accountability and Transparency to Export Development Canada’s Practice

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 12 November 2018) Canada’s Export Development Act is under review. In our submission (pdf) to the government, Above Ground and other Canadian civil society groups call for legal reforms to bolster the accountability and transparency of Export Development Canada (EDC). EDC’s policies state that it screens and monitors the business it supports for associated social, environmental and business ethics risks. Yet over the years we have identified multiple companies that receive support from EDC despite credible or proven allegations involving environmental damage, corruption and human rights violations. In this submission we urge Parliament to adopt legislative reforms that include prohibiting EDC from supporting firms involved in wrongdoing, subjecting it to judicial oversight and expanding the Auditor General’s mandate regarding EDC. We have also made a second submission (pdf) calling for reforms to address the climate impacts of business supported by EDC. In addition, Both ENDS and other CSOs working from a number of countries made a joint submission as formal input to the EDC legislative review regarding EDC support for fossil fuels. The submission emphasized the Canadian governments' ambition to show leadership on climate change and to prioritise climate change action and clean economic growth.

https://aboveground.ngo/accountability-transparency-export-development-canada/


Report highlights EDC’s multibillion dollar support for oil and gas industries

(Windsor Star, Ottawa, 22 November 2018) A new report shows Canada’s export credit agency provides far greater backing to oil and gas companies than to makers of clean technology, a trend the authors contend undermines the country’s commitment to fight climate change under the Paris Agreement. Released Thursday and sponsored by a host of environmental groups, the report from the research and advocacy organization Oil Change International casts light on how Export Development Canada facilitated $62 billion in financial support for Canadian oil and gas companies from 2012 to 2017. That’s 12 times more support than the $5 billion the agency facilitated for clean technologies during that time, the report says, citing the agency’s own data.

https://www.ourwindsor.ca/news-story/9046135-report-highlights-crown-corporation...


Trading away EU principles in the name of national export interests

(Euractiv,  Brussels, 20 November 2018) MEPs need to follow the lead of the European Ombudsman and force the European Commission to shine light on the opaque role of national Export Credit Agencies. An important milestone in this direction was set by recent decisions of the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, which she spoke of at a public hearing of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament. Following an appeal filed by the ECA-watch network – the Ombudsman detected severe shortcomings in the European Commission’s monitoring of national Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), including “maladministration”, failure to acquire adequate information to formulate its judgement, failure to include environmental and human rights standards when it comes to supporting coal projects and the necessity to keep a written record of its analysis and assessment. ECA’s activities have so far been exempt from human rights-related considerations to the point that arms export for cross-border conflicts could have well fit among their activities. There is a long way to go to ensure that European Export Credit Agencies respond to the much needed demand for accountability and transparency, and the European Parliament has a big role to play. It will have to take a firm stand and make sure the Commission does its homework and complies with the Ombudsman’s recommendations. It is a matter of democratic control and the credibility of the European institutions.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/opinion/trading-away-the-eu-princi...


ECA Support for Coal in the Face of OECD Financing Restrictions

(Friends of the Earth USA, Washington, 13 November 2018) In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, no new fossil fuel power plants should have been built after 2017. Despite this, little-known government agencies called export credit agencies (ECAs) are still providing many billions in financing to fossil fuel projects all over the globe. From 2013 to 2015, the world’s largest ECAs provided an annual average of USD 38 billion in support of fossil fuels. Eighty-eight percent of ECA support for energy projects went toward fossil fuels, compared to seven percent for clean energy projects. A new report available here (pdf) analyzes potential and current support for coal plants by ECAs in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes most of the world’s largest ECAs (though, notably, not China).

https://foe.org/resources/eca-support-coal-face-oecd-financing-restrictions/


The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?

(New York Times, Hanoi, 24 November 2018) Coal, the fuel that powered the industrial age, has led the planet to the brink of catastrophic climate change. Scientists have repeatedly warned of its looming dangers, most recently on Friday, when a major scientific report issued by 13 United States government agencies warned that the damage from climate change could knock as much as 10 % off the size of the American economy by century’s end if significant steps aren’t taken to rein in warming. An October report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on global warming found that avoiding the worst devastation would require a radical transformation of the world economy in just a few years. Central to that transformation: Getting out of coal, and fast. According to the latest assessment by the International Energy Agency, it is not on track to happen anywhere fast enough to avert the worst effects of climate change. Last year, in fact, global production and consumption increased after two years of decline. Home to half the world’s population, Asia accounts for 3/4 of global coal consumption today. More important, it accounts for more than 3/4 of coal plants that are either under construction or in the planning stages — a whopping 1,200 of them, according to ECA Watch member Urgewald, a German advocacy group that tracks coal development. Heffa Schücking, who heads Urgewald, called those plants “an assault on the Paris goals.” [OECD coal support abroad is mainly provided by national export credit agencies.]

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/24/climate/coal-global-warming.html


UK Government considering UKEF deal with Saudi Aramco

(Ekklesia, London, 16 November 2018) In the wake of the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi and international warnings on climate change, the UK Government is discreetly considering supporting a Saudi Arabian oil company with a petrochemical project. UK Export Finance (UKEF), the controversial export credit agency which underwrites risky export deals to boost the UK’s international trade, recently announced that it could use public funds to help develop a large petrochemical refinery in Malaysia. The project, PRefChem, is a joint venture between Petronas, the Malaysian state oil company, and Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil giant.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/27190


EXIM Bank's fate tied to the outcome of Senate midterms

(The Hill, Washington, 30 October 2018) Pollsters are predicting that Kavanaugh’s US Senate confirmation has galvanized Republicans and enhanced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) chances of retaining Senate control. For the last three years, and with little notice, McConnell has deployed tactics to contravene the support of the president and bipartisan congressional majorities to cripple the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM). Because of McConnell’s block of board nominees, EXIM lacks the quorum needed to support deals over $10 million, which historically comprise 80 percent of bank lending. Ten years ago, EXIM responded to the Great Recession by tripling export support, financing $30 billion annually of U.S. exports over a five-year period, creating over a million jobs. Because big deals make money, EXIM made a $3.8 billion profit under Obama. But without a quorum, authorizations fell to $3.4 billion last year. Limited to small, less-profitable deals, EXIM now costs taxpayers money.

https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/413910-exim-banks-fate-is-tied-to-outcome-of...


Uganda expects ECA pipeline financing deal by June 2019

(The East African, Nairobi, 26 November 2018) Uganda and Tanzania signed an agreement in May 2017 to jointly develop the $3.5 billion pipeline that has been described as the longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline in the world. The balance of $1 billion is expected to come from shareholders in equity. Stanbic Uganda secured the role of joint arranger and adviser with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. The two banks had previously planned to raise $3 billion by June this year from export credit agencies.

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/Uganda-expects-pipeline-financing-deal...


Middle East Politics and Export Credits

(Washington Post, Berlin, 31 October 2018) At the end of last year, the Danish Export Credit Agency had approved eight Iranian banks for credit lines or guarantees and vowed to resist U.S. pressure to dismantle those ties. However, Denmark is now leading a push for new E.U. sanctions against Iran, after its intelligence agencies blamed Tehran for a foiled plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil. In a darkly ironic twist, Iran has condemned the Saudi killing of dissident Khashoggi even as it has a long track record of pursuing operations against opponents living abroad itself. The Jerusalem Post on 6 November noted that the German government defied US sanctions on Iran’s clerical regime on Monday 5 November, by continuing to insure its companies with export credit – 911 million euro for 58 companies.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/10/31/foiled-assassination-plot-denmar...


Australia splashes ECA cash in the Pacific as China fears loom

(Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 8 November 2018) Australia has announced that at least A$2 billion has been earmarked for grants and long-term projects in the Pacific and Timor Leste, to be administered by a new Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility. An extra A$1 billion will be made available for Australia’s export credit agency EFIC which helps Australian companies invest and expand overseas by giving them loans and guarantees. The announcements in a speech to soldiers in Townsville will be widely read as aiming to edge out growing Chinese infrastructure-building in Pacific nations. Prime Minister Scott Morrison noted that "Australia has an abiding interest in a south-west Pacific that is secure strategically, stable economically and sovereign politically." Raising questions about sovereignty have in the past been a way for Western leaders to express concern that China is loading developing countries up with infrastructure-related debt they cannot handle, making them politically beholden to Beijing, though Mr Morrison stresses Australia will co-operate with other countries including China.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-splashes-cash-in-the-paci...


What's New October 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.

  • UK Government climate targets branded ‘laughable’ as UK Export Finance supports new oil refineries abroad
  • NGOs release list of world’s top coal plant developers
  • Boeing says Exim Bank vital for the US amid competition from China
  • Denmark provides world’s largest export credit agency wind financing
  • Longest Gas Pipeline in Nigeria Gets Green Light With Sinosure cover
  • Vinfast, set to be Vietnam's first domestic carmaker, gains $950M ECA credit line
  • Global Export Credit Agencies Support Iran Trade Coverage
  • Tonga starts repaying US$4.7m a year to Chinese ECA for reconstruction
  • Botched Chinese ECA project in Africa is a warning to belt and road investors
  • Africa-India trade to double by 2021 with ECA help

UK Government climate targets branded ‘laughable’ as UK Export Finance supports new oil refineries abroad

(Global Witness, London, 10 October 208) On the week that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its report on the scale of the challenge to limit the dangers of climate change, the near-simulanteous announcement of new UK Government support for oil and gas abroad has been labelled “staggering.” UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency which underwrites loans and insurance for risky export deals as part of efforts to boost international trade, announced on Tuesday that it is considering finance for an expansion of an oil refinery in Bahrain which would allow its total output to increase up to a maximum of 380,000 barrels per day. Adam McGibbon, Climate Change Campaigner at Global Witness, said: “As the world reels from the news that we have twelve years to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown, today’s announcement by the government is staggering. The UK claims to be a climate leader, but it continues to spend billions pumping fossil fuels out of the ground abroad." Articles in The Times, The Indpendent, BBC and Ekklesia highlight this contradictory approach.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/uk-government-climate-targets-br...


NGOs release list of world’s top coal plant developers

(Urgewald, Berlin, 4 October 2018) Four days before the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts forward its special report on 1.5°C, NGOs have released a new list of the world’s top 120 coal plant developers.  “Building new coal plants is an assault on the Paris climate goals,” said Heffa Schuecking, director of the German environment NGO Urgewald. “Our list names the top companies investors and banks need to shun if they are committed to limiting our planet’s temperature rise.” While 2017 was another record-busting year for renewables, coal power is still growing in many parts of the world. Currently, 1,380 new coal plants or units are planned or under development in 59 countries. The world’s largest coal plant developer is China’s National Energy Investment Group (NEI), which aims to build 37,837 MW of new coal plants.

https://mailchi.mp/banktrack/over-600000-mw-of-new-coal-threaten-15c-climate-tar...


Boeing says Exim Bank vital for the US amid competition from China

(The National, Abu Dhabi, 3 October 2018) Planemaker Boeing said the US Export-Import Bank (Exim), the country's export credit agency, [sic - return?] to its full lending powers is vital to the country's economy and the company's ability to compete with global rivals. The US is locked in an escalating trade war with economic rival China in a tit-for-tat round of tariffs. The long-hobbled US export credit agency, which facilitates export deals between American manufacturers and overseas buyers, has been in limbo for three years due to congressional inaction. In 2018, export credit is expected to remain a "marginal" share of aircraft financing but export credit agency volumes will increase to stable levels from historical lows this year, Boeing said. [Export credit agencies are major funders of aircraft - in 2010 about 50% of all Airbus deliveries were covered by export credit agencies. ECAs allocate about a third of their long-term financing to aircraft sales, the largest representation of any sector.]

https://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/boeing-says-exim-bank-vital-for-the...


Denmark provides world’s largest export credit agency wind financing

(Global Trade Review, London, 28 September 2018) Denmark’s EKF has signed an £800mn guarantee for Hornsea 1 in what it says is the largest wind financing that any public export credit agency has ever provided. Located off the coast of Yorkshire, UK, Hornsea 1 is currently being constructed by Danish wind farm developer Orsted, formerly Dong Energy. According to EKF, it will finance suppliers such as Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, but also a “vast number of sub-suppliers” from Denmark. EKF has also guaranteed about EUR 100 million of the EUR 210 million European Investment Bank (EIB) facility for the Euro 700 million Northwester 2 offshore wind farm in Belgian waters.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/denmark-provides-worlds-largest-export-cred...


Longest Gas Pipeline in Nigeria Gets Green Light With Sinosure cover

(Pipeline Technology Journal, Hannover, 27 September 2018) The 614-km, 40 inch Ajaokuta - Kano Gas Pipeline (AKK), the single biggest gas pipeline in the history of oil and gas operations in Nigeria, will now go forward with $ 2.38 bn financing secured by the China National Petroleum Corporation. While 85 per cent of the money is expected to be provided by the financiers, which include Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, and Infrastructure Bank of China with Sinosure, China’s Export Credit Agency providing insurance cover, the remaining 15 per cent will be provided by the contractors, which include Oilserve/Oando consortium, as well as Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau consortium.

https://www.pipeline-journal.net/news/longest-gas-pipeline-nigeria-gets-green-li...


Vinfast, set to be Vietnam's first domestic carmaker, gains $950M ECA credit line

(Reuters, Hanoi, 10 October 2018) VinFast, which aims to become Vietnam's first domestic car manufacturer, said it has secured a 12-year credit facility for as much as $950 million to help buy machinery and equipment from German suppliers. Vingroup has earmarked about $3.5 billion for the project. Credit Suisse and HSBC were the lead arrangers and the financing agreement was guaranteed by German export credit agency Euler Hermes.

https://www.euronews.com/2018/10/10/vinfast-set-to-be-vietnams-first-domestic-ca...


Global Export Credit Agencies Support Iran Trade Coverage

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 20 October 2018) Global Export Credit Unions participating in a meeting of the Berne Union Credit and Investment Insurers this week backed sustained cooperation with Iran despite the US move earlier this year to pull out of the historic nuclear agreement. According to a press release by the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, whose representative attended the event, the countries present declared that insuring trade with Iran is possible under the existing circumstances. Arash Shahraini, a member of board of directors and technical deputy of EGFI told the Financial Tribune on Sunday that while there was a positive mood of support for Iran coverage at the meeting, members were cognizant of the fact that lack of a proper banking channels for payments to Iran continues to be a main hurdle to promoting Iranian trade with the outside world.
 

https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/94595/global-...


Tonga starts repaying US$4.7m a year to Chinese ECA for reconstruction

(Matangi, Tonga, 22 October 2018) The Tonga Government will start paying US$4.7m a year during the next ten years, (principal only) of its US$52m loan from the Exim Bank of China that was used to fund reconstruction projects after the 2006 riots in Nuku'alofa. The start of the principal repayments has already contributed to a $22.8m decline in Tonga’s foreign reserves in September. Now Tonga is confronting the real cost of the riots and still recovering from the impact of Tropical Cyclone Gita which struck the main island of Tongatapu in February 2018 and caused about US$148m worth of damage, equivalent to nearly a third of the country's gross domestic product.

https://matangitonga.to/2018/10/22/tonga-starts-repaying-108m-year-china-reconst...


Botched Chinese ECA project in Africa is a warning to belt and road investors

(South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 29 October 2018) The planning behind many of China’s major infrastructure projects abroad has been “downright inadequate”, leading to huge financial losses, according to the head of the country’s state export credit insurer. Wang Wen, of China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, known as Sinosure, said Chinese developers and financiers of projects in developing nations supported by Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative” need to step up their risk management to avoid disaster. He cited the mistakes of a major railway project in Africa that has cost Sinosure close to US$1 billion in losses. “Ethiopia’s planning capabilities are lacking, but even with the help of Sinosure and the lending Chinese bank it was still insufficient.” He said other China-backed projects plagued by poor preparation have included sugar refineries that have lacked a supply of sugar beet, and underused railways in Latin America.

https://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/2170549/botched-chinese-ra...


Africa-India trade to double by 2021 with ECA help

(Southern Times, Windhoek, 29 October 2018) Trade between Africa and India has risen over the past 10 years and is highly likely to double its total of US$60 billion in 2017 to US$120 billion in 2021, according to a report released by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim India). The impressive growth in trade between Africa and India stems from a mix of factors... Against the backdrop of increasing uncertainty in the global economy, reliance on innovative and non-traditional financing solutions developed by export credit agencies, including the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim India) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), not only helps in mitigating risks in international trade but also contributes to promoting regional trade and investment.

https://southerntimesafrica.com/site/news/africa-india-trade-to-double-by-2021


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...


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