Index for October 2007

Volume 6, Issue 10

  • ECA Watch members have submitted a paper to the OECD outlining a number of concerns which undermine the credibility of the OECD with respect to inconsistencies and weak monitoring and implementation of OECD export credit policies concerning environmental and social standards, bribery, unproductive expenditures and debt, sustainable development and transparency.
  • (WEED, Berlin, 23 October 2007) The European Ilisu campaign has learned during a site visit, that without the knowledge of responsible authorities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the Turkish government has begun to expropriate the first affected villages at the controversial Ilisu dam site on the Tigris river in a move that violates conditions imposed by European export credit agencies.
  • (Amis de la Terre France, Paris, 27 October 2007) The guarantees approved this summer by the ECAs of Switzerland, Germany and Austria for another very controversial Turkish dam, Illisu, have created pressures from Turkey to lower the standards for the Yusufeli dam project, and also the standards of the OECD which these ECAs must respect.
  • (Forbes, Beijing, 18 October 2007) - The Chinese government, led by the central bank, is in the process of drafting a plan to restructure the Import-Export Bank of China (Exim Bank), one of the country's three policy banks, into a into a commercial institution, said the official Xinhua news agency, citing bank president Li Ruogu. Exim Bank will transform from a government export credit institution to a bank promoting international economic operation, according to the 17th Communist Party Conference.
  • (ECD, Ottawa, 27 October 2007) Export Development Canada (EDC) has become a signatory to the Equator Principles, an international financial industry benchmark for assessing and managing social and environmental risk in project financing. EDC is the second Official Export Credit Agency to sign following Denmark's EKF.
  • (IHT, Geneva, 25 October 2007) The German Economics Ministry has been scaling back export credit guarantees for trade with Iran, with which Berlin traditionally has had good trade ties. The guarantees totaled US$1.2 billion in 2006, down from US$3.3 billion in 2004, but German companies continued exporting to Iran, with goods last year totaling US$5.7 billion, compared with US$5 billion in 2004. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, in a letter to EU counterparts earlier this month, urged them to consider new sanctions that could target companies, "particularly in the banking sector."
  • (Environmental Finance, London, 18 October 2007) The UK government has come under attack for failing to ensure that its export credit agency performs tough enough environmental and social checks on the projects it subsidises.
  • (Earthtimes.org, Washington 11 October 2007) Eight defendants have been charged in connection with an $80 million scheme to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States. As part of the scheme, a loan broker in the Philippines assisted borrowers in executing loan agreements with the lending banks and in obtaining loan guarantees or insurance policies from the Ex-Im Bank as part of the loan agreements.