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What's New! Vol. 7, No. 11

  November 2008 - What's New! Indices - 2005 2006 2007 2008

"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
  1) ECA Watch protests inadequacies of OECD consultation with CSOs
    A. NGOs protest against continuing destruction by OECD export credit agencies
    B. Photos and video of the 18 November demonstration at the OECD
   

C.

Correspondence with the Export Credit Working Group and OECD Secretary-General Gurria
    D. Bilateral national consultations not working well
  2) The impact of the world financial crisis on export credits
    A. Export credits and the financial crisis - Statement by the OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees
    B. ECAs scramble to respond to the financial crisis and to protect national exporters
    C. WTO's Lamy warns of credit shrinkage damages to sustained growth
    D. Planemakers, largest ECA clients, stuck with unsold planes
  3) New Dutch export credits for Indonesian weapons systems
  4) Log, Stock and Barrel - A new web resource on Financial Institutions in the Resource Sector from the Heinrich Boell Foundation & urgewald
  5) Turkey continues Ilisu dam construction despite reports that ECA conditions have not been met
  6) New JIBC projects
  7) IRN presents guide to China's overseas dam industry
  View Back Issues of What's New
   
1. ECA Watch protests inadequacies of OECD consultation with CSOs
  A. NGOs protest against continuing destruction by OECD export credit agencies
(ECA Watch, Paris, 18 November 2008) On 18 November 2008, a broad coalition of international non-governmental organisations protested outside the OECD in Paris to condemn the lack of progress by export credit agencies in implementing strict sustainability guidelines and conducting meaningful consultations with civil society (click here for press release). Export credit agencies (ECAs) provide private business with tens of billions of Euros in public subsidies and guarantees annually. Both the OECD and its member governments however, fail to tie these taxpayer subsidies to strict rules of sustainability and public scrutiny. By providing financing to the private sector, export credit agencies support their economies’ business activities in emerging markets and developing countries. Private banks are major beneficiaries of ECA guarantees – they take the profit while the public assumes the risk. ECA-Watch has revealed that many projects supported by export credit agencies cause great harm to people and the environment. These include large dam projects like Nam Theun 2 in Laos, oil and gas exploitation like Sakhalin II in the Russian Far East, the Chad-Cameroon and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelines, nuclear projects and arms deals, as well as increasing numbers of coal fired power plants which take no consideration of climate impacts. A number of ECA backed contracts are known to have been acquired by corrupt practices.
  B. Photos and video of the 18 November demonstration at the OECD
  C. Correspondence with the Export Credit Working Group and OECD Secretary-General Gurria
(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 29 November 2008) Since the OECD ceased to publish correspondence with CSOs on its web site after 23 November 2007, this overview is necessary to provide taxpayers, the media and other interested parties with better information on environmental concerns with some $100 billion in export projects supported by OECD ECAs each year.
  D. Bilateral national consultations not working well
(The Corner House, Devon, 29 November 2008) Following suggestions from the OECD ECG that bilateral contacts with CSOs at the national level are the best fora for discussing both individual projects and ECA environmental processes, ECA Watch member the Corner House has written the UK's ECDG to note a lack of response after 8 months to their proposals for improving the monitoring of the implementation of the OECD's Common Approaches through peer review. "It goes without saying that such 'bilateral contacts' are only of value if ECAs respond to CSOs when they raise issues of concern. It is therefore particularly to be regreted that ECGD has not seen fit to reply to our letter of 5 March 2008. "
 
2. The impact of the world financial crisis on export credits
  A. Export credits and the financial crisis - Statement by the OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees
(OECD, Paris, 24 November 2008) OECD member governments confirmed their commitment to continue to be reliable partners to exporters and financing banks. This action will, inter alia, contribute to the fulfilment of one of the undertakings identified in point 7 of the declaration by leaders of the G20 countries at their summit in Washington on 15 November 2008.
  B. ECAs scramble to respond to the financial crisis and to protect national exporters
(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 29 November 2008) As the international financial crisis deepens, governments are moving to expand official export credit agency support for national corporations' export sales.
  C. WTO's Lamy warns of credit shrinkage damages to sustained growth
(WTO, Geneva, 12 November 2008) WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy notes that experts have “confirmed that the market for trade finance has severely deteriorated” and urged government action to close the liquidity gap in trade finance, including expansion of the scope for co-financing trade between the banks and public sector institutions such as the IFIs and the ECAs.
  D. Planemakers, largest ECA clients, stuck with unsold planes
(Bloomberg, Singapore, 6 November 2008) -- Airbus and Boeing may end up with as many as 200 new planes without buyers next year because airlines are unable to obtain funds to pay for them amid a global credit squeeze, according to industry consultant Ascend Ltd.
 
3. New Dutch export credits for Indonesian weapons systems
(Martin Broek, Amsterdam, 16 November 2008) A few scarcely noticed lines in a Dutch regional newspaper announced that Dutch ship builder the Schelde is going to help Indonesia build a new series of naval corvettes in a potentially huge military order. The Netherlands was the fifth ranking global military exporter in 2007 and state export credit support has been crucial to arms sales.
 
4. Log, Stock and Barrel - A new web resource on Financial Institutions in the Resource Sector from the Heinrich Boell Foundation & urgewald
(Heinrich Boell Foundation, Berlin, 27 November 2008) The Heinrich Boell Foundation and urgewald have announced the launch of their web dossier "Log, stock and barrel" on financial institutions in the resource sector. The section on ECAs, which includes a compendium of materials on BRIC ECAs, will be of interest to What's New readers.
 
5. Turkey continues Ilisu dam construction despite reports ECA conditions have not been met
(Istanbul, 2 December 2009) Doga Dernegi (BirdLife Partner in Turkey) has recently obtained visual proof that bulldozers and shovels have begun the destruction of ten thousand years of world heritage to make way for the Ilisu Dam, effectively ignoring the over 153 terms of reference required by the export credit agencies funding the project to be met prior to construction.
 
6. New JIBC projects
(JIBC, Tokyo, 12 November 2008) JIBC has released its list of new projects for the period from September 20 to November 12.
 
7. IRN presents new guide to China's overseas dam industry
(International Rivers Network, Berkeley, 15 July 2008) Chinese dam companies and financial institutions are outpacing their competitors in overseas dam contracts. This guide provides useful information for groups concerned about dam projects in which Chinese companies and financiers are involved, including how to address problematic dams built by Chinese companies and financiers, and who to reach out to for help.
 
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