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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August 2016 What's New

"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

  • Does the US ExIm Bank really promote US exports?
  • Norway opens $1-billion export credit line for Iran
  • Argentina Seeks IMF Help to Shed Poor OECD Export Credit Risk Ranking
  • Koreas’ export credit agency to back Sonangol financing to help Daewoo Shipbuilding
  • Paris Club Creditors Confident on Cuba Despite Liquidity Crisis
  • Nigerian ECA NEXIM, Fidelity Bank deepen non-oil exports
  • India's ECGC mulls credit insurance for Indian companies' foreign subsidiaries
  • GE Breaks Ground On Canadian Facility
  • China to intensify efforts to stabilize foreign trade including expanded export credit support
  • Ex-Im Bank Scouts Out Future Export-Financing Deals
  • Airbus credit freeze costs tally up
  • Banks develop a blockchain prototype solution for trade finance

Does the US ExIm Bank really promote US exports?

(Nottingam University, Nottingham, 27 July 2016) This 35 page paper investigates the impact of the US Export-Import Bank on US exports particularly in the wake of international competition from foreign national export credit agencies (ECAs). We employ a gravity framework on a country-industry-year-level panel dataset that matches EXIM authorizations with US bilateral exports. Our results depict the general ineffectiveness of the Bank in promoting exports within and across industries. Some heterogeneities behind the general finding are also uncovered: industries other than aerospace parts and products are more likely to benefit from EXIM authorizations, and that EXIM authorizations to larger businesses seem to be more effective in encouraging exports. Furthermore, we find no evidence that explains the role of EXIM in encouraging US exports by offsetting foreign ECA competition. These results are neither affected by competing countries' membership to the OECD Arrangement nor by the size of American firms that received EXIM support. Our results cast doubt on the ubiquitously positive claims made by the Bank and its supporters, yet also provide policy lessons for countries that are either in the inception stages of establishing their own ECAs or are now placing greater importance on ECA financing in encouraging domestic exports. See also the Global Trade Review review article

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2016/2016-12.pdf


Norway opens $1-billion export credit line for Iran

(Daily Mail, London, 17 August 2016) Iran said Wednesday that Norway had offered the Islamic republic a $1-billion credit line following a meeting between their foreign ministers in Tehran. Borge Brende and Mohammad Javad Zarif signed three "export credit" deals aimed at funding "development and infrastructure projects", Iran's foreign ministry said in a statement. Iran has struggled to tap international finance as many banks fear US penalties if they do business with the Islamic republic. A landmak deal between Tehran and world powers, which was signed in July last year and came into force in January, saw many international sanctions on Iran lifted in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme. European countries have been keen to do business with one of the last frontier markets, but Washington has maintained sanctions related to Iran's human rights record and missile programme.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3745268/Norway-opens-1-billion-cred...


Argentina Seeks IMF Help to Shed Poor OECD Export Credit Risk Ranking

Argentina’s sovereign debt may be outperforming most of its emerging-market peers this year, but the OECD says the country is as risky as North Korea, Venezuela and Iran. The ranking is a remnant from the days when Argentina was still a pariah in international markets -- and it could soon change. About half a dozen International Monetary Fund economists are set to touch down in Argentina in September to assess the reliability of the country’s economic statistics and the sustainability of its fiscal and monetary policies, as well as the banking industry. The so-called Article IV consultation -- normally an annual review but, in Argentina’s case, the first in a decade -- is a key step to reclaiming legitimacy among organizations like the OECD and unlocking cheaper financing from member nations.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-11/argentina-seeks-imf-help-to-sh...


Koreas’ export credit agency to back Sonangol financing to help Daewoo Shipbuilding

(Pulse News, Seoul, 2 August 2016) State-run Korea Trade Insurance Corp. (K-sure) will likely provide additional security for two drill ships Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) made but whose delivery is being stalled because of financial troubles of Angola’s state-run oil company Sonangol, according to the financial authorities and creditors on Monday.

http://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?sc=30800021&year=2016&no=550925


Paris Club Creditors Confident on Cuba Despite Liquidity Crisis

(Frontera News, London, 25 August 2016) In December, Paris Club creditor nations hammered out a debt restructuring deal with the Cuban government, which forgives a large portion of monies owed from a default in 1987, while the Cuban government committed to paying off the rest over time. Observers cite these kinds of deals as evidence that the Cuban government is serious about integrating itself fully into the global economy, but some are wondering if the island’s current liquidity crisis will compel it to fall back on its debt service promise. “The Paris Club countries that struck the deal with Cuba have all been encouraging their ECAs (export credit agencies) to open up to doing more business with Cuba,” said Pavel Vidal, a former official at Cuba's Central Bank now teaching at the Javeriana University in Cali, Colombia. “In fact, the Paris Club deal allowed for individual countries to convert part of the restructured debt into projects and equity. I think the French, Dutch and the Brits have also opened some lines. Europeans are trying to get to the party before the Americans can come in."

https://fronteranews.com/news/latam/paris-club-creditors-confident-despite-liqui...


Nigerian ECA NEXIM, Fidelity Bank deepen non-oil exports

(The Nation, Lagos, 19 August 2016) The Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) and Fidelity Bank Plc are taking measures meant to enhance non-oil exports and create wealth for Nigerians. Both lenders urged exporters to explore opportunities presented by the N500 billion (US$1.58 billion) non-oil Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) as well as the expansion of the export credit Rediscounting and Refinancing Facilities (RRF) to develop the economy, stimulate their operations, and create jobs for the people.

http://thenationonlineng.net/nexim-fidelity-bank-deepen-non-oil-export/


India's ECGC mulls credit insurance for Indian companies' foreign subsidiaries

(Business Standard, Mumbai, 1 August 2016) Indian ECA ECGC is likely to introduce credit insurance cover for the overseas-based subsidiaries of Indian companies, a top company official said here today. Under the proposed scheme, which is likely to be launched within a month's time, ECGC will provide cover to 85 per cent of the project cost to the overseas-based subsidiaries of the Indian companies.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/ecgc-mulls-credit-insurance...


GE Breaks Ground On Canadian Facility

(Compressor Tech News, Waukesha, WI, 26 August 2016) GE has started constructing its multimodal manufacturing facility in Welland, Ontario, Canada. The facility, a US$165 million investment in its first phase, will manufacture GE Power’s reciprocating gas engines, as well as components for compression, mechanical drive and power generation applications. It will also craft components for GE transportation diesel engines. The facility, expected to open in early 2018, will employ 220 people and has the ability to expand for other GE global businesses, such as Power, Oil & Gas and Transportation. Since 2010, GE’s Waukesha brand formerly held its manufacturing operations in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In September 2015, however, GE Power decided to move its manufacturing jobs to Canada, citing a lapse of charter for the US export credit agency – the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) as a reason. With the facility in Canada, GE will be able to access support from the country’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC). GE has a long-standing relationship with EDC, the company said.

http://www.compressortech2.com/August-2016/GE-Breaks-Ground-On-Welland-Facility/...


China to intensify efforts to stabilize foreign trade including expanded export credit support

(Xinhua, Beijing, 16 August 2016) China's State Council (the Cabinet) urged local authorities to intensify efforts to stabilize exports and imports, which both declined in the first seven months of the year. Trade facilitation measures adopted by the country's free trade zones should be duplicated, standards at different customs areas must be unified, and examination procedures should be simplified, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang Tuesday. Financial institutions should enhance credit support to companies that have received export orders, help them control exchange rate risks, and expand the coverage of export credit insurance, the statement said.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-08/16/c_135604465.htm


Ex-Im Bank Scouts Out Future Export-Financing Deals

(Wall Street Journal, Beijing, 9 August 2016) The U.S. Export-Import Bank is vetting major export-financing deals in advance so it can resume lending as soon as a U.S. Senate logjam is resolved, its chairman said Tuesday in Beijing. Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im Banks’ chairman and president, said he hopes the Senate can clear an impasse during the next few months affecting a backlog of loan applications totaling some $20 billion at the Washington-based institution, which finances U.S. exports. The bank has run into stiff opposition from critics who characterize as “corporate welfare” its support for U.S. exporters such as Boeing Co. Last year, the bank’s operations were suspended after House Republicans stopped Congress from voting on a reauthorization measure before its charter expired last July. In December, large majorities in both chambers voted to renew its lapsed charter. But Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has blocked the confirmation of a board member, depriving the bank of the quorum needed to approve deals exceeding $10 million.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/ex-im-bank-scouts-out-future-export-financing-deals-...


Airbus credit freeze costs tally up

(Global Trade Review, London, 3 August 2016) France’s Airbus group supplied a near tenfold increase in customer financing following a freeze in export credits from the UK, France and Germany earlier this year, in light of potential corruption and transparency issues. In its half-yearly statement the company said it supplied €587mn of financing to customers compared to €63mn for the first half of 2015. “This is temporary finance we are doing as we’re under suspension of export credit financing,” company CEO Tom Enders told analysts. However, this is only 1% of total ECA financing received in 2015, reflecting that the market is liquid and competitive, he added. Meanwhile, the UK Serious Fraud Office has opened a criminal probe related to use of third-party consultants.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/airbus-credit-freeze-costs-tally-up/


Banks develop a blockchain prototype solution for trade finance

(Brave New Coin, Southbank AU, 15 August 2016) Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), HSBC, and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (iDA) recently announced that they have jointly developed “a prototype solution built on Blockchain technology that could change the way businesses around the world trade with each other.” Trade finance involves a range of activities; lending, issuing letters of credit (LCs), factoring, export credit issuance, and insurance. The processes are typically time and labor intensive, involving many parties while multiple documents must be checked to reduce risk and provide assurance to sellers, buyers, and their banks. An LC or Documentary Credit represents a guarantee by a bank that a seller will receive payment from a buyer once certain conditions are met. Using blockchains, all parties involved in an LC transaction can view all actions in real-time, such as when the seller has shipped the buyer's goods. “Each action in the workflow is captured in a permissioned distributed ledger, giving transparency to authorised participants whilst encrypting confidential data,” states the project press release.

http://bravenewcoin.com/news/bank-of-america-merrill-lynch-hsbc-and-ida-develop-...


What's New July 2016

"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.

  • Export-Import Bank, stymied by critics, gets a break
  • With Ex-Im hobbled, GE forges ahead with European & Canadian ECA financing
  • Airbus says it has agreed process to end European export credit freeze
  • Living without ECA backed funding
  • China takes the lion's share in electrifying Africa with ECA finance
  • Exxon said to be in advanced talks over Eni Mozambique gas, also under ECA review
  • British and Russian ECAs to finance Iranian power and water projects

Export-Import Bank, stymied by critics, gets a break

(McClatchyDC, Washington, 12 July 2016) Lawmakers in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, moved Tuesday to assist the embattled federally charted bank for U.S. exporters. The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to a funding bill that effectively will enable the bank to approve loans of more than $10 million again. The bank board, with only two members, has been unable to get a quorum of three members out of five positions – as required by its charter – in order to approve large loans. “A backlog of more than 30 transactions worth more than $20 billion is stalled until Ex-Im regains its quorum,” Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., told the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. His amendment to allow a quorum to consist of two members for three years was approved as part of the appropriations bill that funds the State Department and other related agencies. “It would allow them to function with two board members,” Dent told McClatchy. Granger, the chairwoman of the subcommittee that oversees the bill, supported the amendment and it passed by voice vote.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article89218582.htm...


With Ex-Im hobbled, GE forges ahead with European & Canadian ECA financing

(Export Import Bank, Washington, June 2016) In its June 2016 Report to the U.S. Congress on GLOBAL EXPORT CREDIT COMPETITION Ex-Im noted (on p.55) that in 2015, foreign ECAs acted aggressively to move business away from the United States to their countries. The most notable examples involved General Electric setting up agreements with foreign ECAs. The company signed a $6 billion memorandum of understanding with SACE (Italy) to support oil and gas exports. The company also signed a £7.7 billion (about $11.1 billion) memorandum of understanding with UKEF (UK) to support projects. Finally, GE announced plans to close a gas-engine production plant in Wisconsin and open a new facility in Canada to access EDC (Canada) support.  GE also announced on June 14 that it will use Coface financing to back its gas turbine projects in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil and other nations as the U.S. Export-Import Bank continues to languish without a sufficient quorum on its board of directors and told AFP on January 13, 2016 it plans to cut up to 6,500 jobs in Europe from the energy units it acquired from France's Alstom last year. "The restructuring plan will touch several European countries and impact potentially 6,500 jobs out of 35,000," a GE spokesman told AFP.

http://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/reports/2015EXIMCompetitiveReportFINAL-v...


Airbus says it has agreed process to end European export credit freeze

(Reuters, Paris, 27 July 2016) Airbus Group has agreed with European governments a process for regaining access to export credits, suspended earlier this year over flawed disclosures on the use of third-party agents to help to sell passenger jets, the company said on Wednesday. In a footnote in its half-yearly financial statements, the aerospace group said it was working with UK, French and German export credit agencies (ECA) to resolve compliance issues raised by the irregularities, which sources have said dated back years. Britain in April froze applications for government export credits for Airbus passenger jets and called in its Serious Fraud Office (SFO) after Airbus Group said it had discovered inaccuracies in applications for export support. French and German agencies quickly followed suit. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters recently that much work remained to be done in establishing a transparent framework, following what some industry observers see as a temporary breakdown of trust between Airbus Group and the European export agencies.

http://www.reuters.com/article/airbus-group-results-exports-idUSL8N1AD6OS


Living without ECA backed funding

(EuroMoney Seminars, London, 4 July 2016) The aviation market is in an unprecedented situation with both the major aircraft manufacturers facing a shutdown in government export credit financing. Years of predictable and attractive financial returns have led to a staggering number of new entrants in the aviation finance market, allowing airlines and lessors to benefit from fierce competition among lenders and historically low interest rates. These developments are very good news for borrowers, which have been without European export credit agency (ECA) cover from Britain, France and Germany since April, following a UK government probe into overseas agents on export credit applications involving Airbus aircraft. The US Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has been unable to extend guarantees fully for more than a year.

http://www.euromoneyseminars.com/articles/3567317/analysis-living-without-eca-ba...


China takes the lion's share in electrifying Africa with ECA finance

(Global Construction Review, London, 8 July 2016) Chinese companies are playing huge role in bringing electricity to sub-Saharan Africa and can take credit for 30% of new capacity in the region, according to a study published this week by the International Energy Agency (IEA). While more than 635 million people still live without electricity there, Chinese companies channeling state funds into all different types of power stations will have brought light and power to around 36 million people by 2020. The sums are vast: the IEA finds that China invested around $13bn between 2010 and 2015 in power projects, as China’s contribution dwarfs that of any other non-African country. There is also a long-term strategy behind China’s powering of Africa. The industrialisation and economic development of the region is seen by Chinese stakeholders as important for eventually bolstering Chinese exports to the region, the IEA says. China’s approach to development assistance differs from OECD countries. For example, China is not covered by the Arrangements on Officially Supported Export Credits, which guides OECD countries in export credit financing. In the 2010-15 period, loans, credits and foreign direct investment from China into the sub-Saharan power sector amounted to around $13bn, around one-fifth (20%) of all investments in the sector. Most of this financing comes from the Export-Import Bank of China.

http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/sectors/china-takes-lions-sha7re-electr7...


Exxon said to be in advanced talks over Eni Mozambique gas, also under ECA review

(Bloomberg, Johannesburg, 28 July 2016) Exxon Mobil Corp. is in advanced negotiations with Eni SpA over acquiring a minority stake in natural-gas discoveries off Mozambique, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. Exxon Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson discussed the plan with Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi last week in Maputo, the African nation’s capital, according to one of the people, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The U.S. oil major’s participation would potentially accelerate development of one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas projects. [ECA Watch sources understand that six ECAs are reviewing the project with regard to potential ECA support. Meanwhile, a recent ISS report notes that Mozambique, which was poised to take off as the world’s third-biggest natural gas producer, is instead now teetering on the brink of a major sovereign debt default, which is threatening to jeopardise its eagerly anticipated gas-fired boom.]

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-28/exxon-said-in-advanced-talks-w...


British and Russian ECAs to finance Iranian power and water projects

(Tehran Times, Tehran, 14 July 2016) Iran’s Ministry of Energy and UK Export Finance (UKEF) signed a memorandum of understanding in London over financing Iranian water and electricity projects, IRNA reported on July 13. “All the Iranian energy projects which require foreign investment or finance should obtain UKEF’s insurance coverage,” Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian told IRNA after the agreement’s signing ceremony, hoping that the inked MOU would ease financing of Iranian projects by British companies. “Iran is in need of huge investments in power sector and plans to add 47,000 to 50,000 megawatts to its current capacity in the coming ten years,” said Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian. Meanwhile, the Russian government has approved an export credit to Iran for construction of a thermal power station and electrification of railways, Russian Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi said on July 13 and Russia’s Rusatom Service expects to sign a four-year service contract for Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant by the end of 2016. On January 16 the United Nations, United States and European Union lifted economic and financial sanctions on Iran that had been imposed in connection with the Iranian nuclear program.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/404227/British-credit-agency-to-finance-Iranian-...


What's New June 2016

"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.

  • Bangladesh project puts Exim Bank's global credibility at risk
  • JBIC rule change will allow higher risk and boost lending
  • Iran pays off outstanding export-credit debt to Germany
  • Korean environmentalists flag Kexim Bank coal financing & GCF membership conflict
  • EU Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on business and human rights: More decisive action needed on access to justice
  • GE Announces Agreement with French Export Credit Agency
  • Shelby Blocks Democratic Efforts to Vote on Export-Import Bank Nominee
  • Italian export credit agency plans Islamic finance push
  • Azerbaijan to build a gas chemical complex jointly with Russia and Italy
  • Belarus, Russia to organize economic forums abroad together
  • State aid: Commission approves the Estonian short term export credit scheme
  • Nigerian central bank sets aside US$2.5 billion for ECA loans to non-oil exporters

Bangladesh project puts Exim Bank's global credibility at risk

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 17 June 2016) A US-based think tank today said the Bangladesh-India Maitree project could effectively end up in a financial mess. The coal-based power plant proposed to be built near the city of Khulna, close to the Sundarbans mangrove forest, is a joint venture between India and Bangladesh’s state-owned entities. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said electricity produced from the project would cost 32 per cent more than the average electricity in Bangladesh, assuming an average plant load factor (PLF) of 80 per cent. This despite the project being heavily subsidized, "exposing investors, taxpayers and consumers to high risk and is a potential stranded asset in the making". A senior executive associated with the project, however, said the Indian government was not subsidising the project in any form. “It was only providing loan through Exim Bank to promote Indian investment in Bangladesh,” he said.
http://wap.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/ntpc-s-bangladesh-projec...


JBIC rule change will allow higher risk and boost lending

(Financial Times, Tokyo, 14 June 2016) Japanese investment in Asean infrastructure is set to rise. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has changed its lending rules to allow higher risk investment through a special account... Power and transport infrastructure projects are likely to be the main targets for Japanese firms. JBIC currently has ¥1.6tn ($15bn) in outstanding commitments to Asean countries, with much of the investment in power plants and other power-related infrastructure. The rule change will allow Japanese companies to better compete for contracts with Chinese competitors, as the two rivals vie for influence across Asean. Many projects in Asean previously fell foul of stringent [ECA] credit standards, but now Japanese firms investing in the region with the support of the government - a cohort referred to as Japan Inc - will be able to compete more aggressively with rivals from China. [Questions as to whether these rules comply with OECD and WTO rules on ECA state subsidies to exports seem inevitable, and if not, why not?]

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ve...


Iran pays off outstanding export-credit debt to Germany

(Bloomberg, 20 June 2016) Iran has paid off outstanding export-credit debt to Germany, paving the way to open renewed trade ties between the two countries after last year’s nuclear agreement scaled back sanctions on Iran. “This is a further important step to revive our economic relations,” Sigmar Gabriel, German economy minister and vice chancellor, said in a statement on Monday. Gabriel said the payment will allow Germany to re-establish credit guarantees that support exports to Iran. The Iranian government had declined to fulfill all its credit obligations while it was subject to sanctions, some of which were lifted in January, the ministry said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-20/iran-pays-german-export-debt-o...


Korean environmentalists flag Kexim Bank coal financing & GCF membership conflict

(Korea Federation for Environmental Movements, Seoel, 27 June 2016) There have been big concerns over Korea Exim bank’s involvement in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as the bank has a long record of providing financing support for coal projects. The objective of GCF is “to promote the paradigm shift towards low emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries.” Korea has been praised internationally as a model on climate change and green growth as it announced the ‘low carbon and green growth’ as a national vision in 2008 and hosted GCF headquarter in Songdo.

In addition to our concerns with KEXIM's application, in general we do not believe that export credit agencies are appropriate entities to be accredited by the Green Climate Fund. Export credit agencies are created by governments with the narrow mission of promoting exports and job creation in the agency's home country. This limited mission is inconsistent with, and may be in direct conflict with, the mission and core principles of the GCF, including promoting country ownership, local sustainable development benefits, the efficient use of GCF resources, and the Fund's international competitive bidding requirements.

http://www.apmdd.org/news/333-korean-federation-for-environmental-movements-urge...


EU Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on business and human rights: More decisive action needed on access to justice

(ECCJ, Brussels, 20 June 2016) European NGOs, while welcoming the EU Foreign Affairs Council's Conclusions on business and human rights, have called for their rapid translation into practice. They note too that the Conclusions reflect the Dutch presidency and EU Members States’ acknowledgement that the measures taken so far to ensure that companies respect human rights and are accountable for violations, remain insufficient. In particular, Article 11 notes that " The Council encourages EU Institutions and Member States to address their responsibilities as commercial actors (e.g. in public procurement) and when supporting or partnering with businesses (e.g. through export credit, trade promotion, or subsidies for the private sector).

http://corporatejustice.org/news/143-eu-foreign-affairs-council-conclusions-on-b...


GE Announces Agreement with French Export Credit Agency

(Global Trade Magazine, Newport Beach, 27 June 2016) GE has announced an agreement under which COFACE, the French export credit agency, will provide an additional line of credit for gas turbine combined cycle projects that require export financing in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Brazil. As a result, GE will invest $40 million to develop 60 hertz heavy duty gas turbine manufacturing capabilities in Belfort, France. The announcement came at a time when the Export-Import Bank of the United States is prevented from funding large projects because of funding issues involving the U.S. Congress.

http://www.globaltrademag.com/global-trade-daily/news/ge-announces-agreement-wit...


Shelby Blocks Democratic Efforts to Vote on Export-Import Bank Nominee

(Morning Consult, Washington, 9 June 2016) The Obama administration’s nominee for the Export-Import Bank’s board of directors became the latest pawn in the ongoing floor fight between Senate Democrats and Republicans over executive nominations. On Thursday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) blocked an an attempt by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) to call a vote on the nomination of J. Mark McWatters to serve on the export credit agency’s board. Heitkamp’s request marked the latest effort by Senate Democrats to bring stalled nominations out of committee and directly to the floor — all of those attempts have been blocked by Republicans. GE also announced on June 1st that Welland, Ontario, would be the new home of its Waukesha, Wis., facility, following Congress’s failure last summer to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, and that they intend to use Canada’s export-financing entity to pursue new business.

https://morningconsult.com/alert/shelby-blocks-democratic-efforts-to-vote-on-exp...


Italian export credit agency plans Islamic finance push

(Gulf News, Dubai, 27 June 2016) Italy’s export credit agency SACE plans to move into Islamic finance, becoming one of the first Western trade finance bodies to do so, in order to support expansion of its business in the Middle East and North Africa. SACE insured €40.7 billion ($46.4 billion; Dh169.8 billion) of international risk at the end of last year, up 11.6 per cent from a year earlier. The Middle East and North Africa accounted for 14 per cent of the total, the largest fraction outside Italy. Around a quarter of banking business in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council is Sharia-compliant. Italy is also keen to develop business with Iran, where the entire banking system is designated Islamic, after the lifting of international sanctions on that country last January.

http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/italian-export-credit-agency-plans-islamic-...


Azerbaijan to build a gas chemical complex jointly with Russia and Italy

(Trend News Agency, Baku, 18 June 2016) Gazprombank, the Italian export credit agency, the Russian export credit agency EXIAR and Azerbaijani company SOCAR have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the financing and construction of a gas chemical complex in Azerbaijan. The new large-scale petrochemical project envisages the construction in Azerbaijan processing and gas chemical plants with participation of Russian and Italian partners. According to preliminary estimates, total investment budget of the project is 3.5 billion USD. The potential volume of deliveries of Russian equipment and materials and the cost of construction and installation services to Russian contractors for the project will amount to 20% of the investment budget.

http://en.trend.az/business/energy/2547281.html


Belarus, Russia to organize economic forums abroad together

(Belarus News, Minsk, 17 June 2016) The National Center for Marketing and Price Studies of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR) have reached an agreement on sharing information and working together to arrange visits and economic forums abroad, including in distant-arc countries. The sides agreed to share information about forthcoming foreign events, including expos, conferences, business visits for the sake of involving representatives of the Belarusian and Russian private sectors in them. “The agreement is important for diversifying export and for exporting more Belarusian products particularly to the countries, which are not traditional trade and economic partners of Belarus.

http://eng.belta.by/economics/view/belarus-russia-to-organize-economic-forums-ab...


State aid: Commission approves the Estonian short term export credit scheme

(European Commission, Brussels, 20 June 2016) The European Commission has found that the Estonian short-term export-credit scheme was in line with EU state aid rules, and in particular with the 2012 Short-term export-credit Communication. The Commission concluded in particular that the kind of insurance cover provided by the scheme to exporters established in Estonia is currently unavailable in the private market. There is a lack of insurance coverage for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with a small export turnover or for single export transactions (i.e. on a transaction-by-transaction basis as compared to insuring the entire export portfolio of a company). This is because private insurers are less interested in this type of transaction. In this context, the Estonian scheme allows the State to cover risks of single export transactions and risks incurred by SMEs with a small export turnover. The scheme is authorised until 31 December 2023.

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEX-16-2260_en.htm


Nigerian central bank sets aside US$2.5 billion for ECA loans to non-oil exporters

(Reuters, Lagos, 16 June 2016) Nigeria's central bank is setting aside 500 billion naira ($2.5 billion) through a debenture to be issued by Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), for loans to non-oil exporters, after a slump in oil revenues led to the worst crisis in Africa's biggest economy in decades. The OPEC member, whose economy shrank 0.4 percent in the first quarter, has been hit hard by a slump in global oil prices. It relies on sales of crude for around 70 percent of national income and 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

http://www.reuters.com/article/nigeria-exports-idUSL8N1984VS


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