Index for June 2007

Volume 6, Issue 6

  • (ECA Watch, Paris, 29 June 2007) Environmental NGOs have criticized the OECD Council for its June 12 approval of the weak and unenforceable environmental policy Recommendation of the OECD Export Credit Working Group (ECG). After 17 months of dithering, the Recommendation barely revises the 2003 version of environmental and social standards governing projects supported by export credit guarantees or loans over 10 million SDRs (US$15.3 million or €11.2 million). Many OECD Member export credit agencies (ECAs) did not want to make even common sense changes to the 2003 standards and some even wanted to weaken standards, citing competition with Chinese ECAs which they say have no such standards, despite the growing number of OECD ECA joint ventures with the Chinese.
  • Investigation into alleged BAE corruption continues

    A. BAE bribery enquiry moves to USA
      A. BAE bribery enquiry moves to USA
    (IHT, London, 26 June 2007) Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House welcome the decision by the US Department of Justice to investigate BAE Systems' compliance with anti-corruption laws. The two organisations are currently seeking permission from the UK courts for a Judicial Review of the Government's December 2006 decision to stop the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into BAE's Al Yamamah deal with Saudi Arabia.
      B. ECA Watch requests OECD export credit inquiry into ECGD actions in BAE bribery investigation
    (ECA Watch, Paris, 18 June 2007) ECA Watch has written to the Export Credit Working Group of the OECD asking what plans the Group has to implement its peer review process under the Recommendation to Deter Bribery by asking the UK's ECGD to explain measures it is undertaking to enhance due diligence, since, on the basis of extensive, credible press reports, the Member should now have reason to believe that bribery may be involved in an ECGD transaction?
  • (Pacific Environment, San Francisco, 27 June 27 2007) Fifteen Russian and international environmental organizations sent a letter today to leading public and private banks documenting extensive new environmental violations on the controversial Sakhalin II oil and gas project in Russia. Banks receiving the letter include the export credit agencies of the UK, Japan and US, and private bank including RBS, BNP Paribas, Mizuho, SMBC, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and others.
  • (Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización, Terrassa, 27 June 2007) The Environmental Commission of the Spanish Parliament has proposed environmental legislation which includes a clause providing for Spanish companies which undertake activities outside the European Union, and which benefit from public support for Spanish foreign investment, to be held to a level of environmental responsibility equivalent to that demanded of companies in Spain.
  • (Both Ends, Amsterdam, 28 June 2007) In response to questions in the Dutch parliament regarding official support for exports to Iran, the Dutch Minister of Finance expressed the opinion that export credit insurance is not a foreign policy instrument. Official export credit support is not yet part of UN-sanctions against Iran and most EU member states still offer export credit insurances for transactions in Iran.
  • (End Oil Aid, Washington, June 2007) Over 50 organizations from over 30 countries have written to international finance institutions, including export credit agencies, calling on wealthy countries to stop using foreign assistance and export credits to subsidize international oil companies.
  • (Afternoon Dispatch &Courier, Mumbai, 19 June 2007) The Export Credit and Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) will reduce its premia rates by up to 10% to make exports more competitive to counter the negative impact of the appreciation of the rupee on India’s exports.
  • (China Economic Net, Beijing, 21 June 2007) China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE), has launched special measures to support automobile exports with 17 enterprises, proposing support measures in terms of premium rates, underwriting policy, claim support and a package of products and value-added services. In other news, Belgium's Fortis Bank's Global Export & Project Finance division (GEPF) signed a comprehensive business cooperation agreement with Sinosure on June 18th. The deal will offer attractive financing solutions to both international and domestic companies exporting out of China and domestic companies investing overseas, said Fortis.
  • (MineWeb, Perth, 16 June 2007) The Australian Government's export credit agency, EFIC, believes that Africa is now more important to corporate Australia as a result of the effect the minerals boom is having on the continent. EFIC's chief economist Roger Donnelly said that a hunt for new commodity sources "is on" and the new frontier in many cases is Africa. "Existing and prospective resource investment in Africa by Australian companies looks to be worth around US$15 billion."
  • (CAP, Washington, 13 June 2007) The Centre for American Progress has called on the US Treasury Department to coordinate the Export Credit Agency policies of countries around the world to facilitate funding for clean energy projects. The industrialized world, led by the United States, needs to ensure that those most responsible for climate change help those least able to deal with global warming. In order to ensure that lesser-developed countries have the capability to develop without relying on high-carbon technologies, the United States should seek to transfer to poorer countries the tools to drive their development along an alternative, clean energy path.
  • (Thomson Financial, London, 26 June 2007) - The government said it has dropped plans to set up the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) as a trading fund. This pilot structure was established in 2004 in an effort to make the ECGD more responsive to market forces and flexible with respect to customer service, and to increase its independence from the UK Treasury and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.