Index for May 2011

Volume 10, Issue 6

  • (ECA Watch, Ottawa, 14 June 2011) The U.S. Ex-Im Bank Inspector General has published a report on one of Ex-Im Bank's problematic financial intermediaries. Entitled, Special Report: (PDF) Review of the Export-Import Bank Nigerian Banking Facility, the report and associated investigation resulted after ECA Watch member Pacific Environment provided evidence to the Inspector General revealing that several senior officials of Nigerian banks participating in Ex-Im Bank's billion dollar Nigerian Banking Facility were removed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for malfeasance. Two cases were under investigation by Nigerian anti-corruption authorities, and in one instance an offical was convicted of fraud and sent to prison. 

Volume 10, Issue 5

  • (Jubilee Australia, Sydney NSW, 9 May 2011) Australia’s export credit agency, EFIC, has released the updated version of its Policy for Environmental and Social Review of Transactions. Jubilee’s long-term engagement in monitoring the activity of EFIC, and our continued calls for greater transparency paid dividends when the launch confirmed the adoption of new reporting and auditing procedures that go a considerable way to making the agency’s decisions more accessible and accountable to the public, including a commitment to arrange an independent audit of its adherence to the Policy every two years by an independent expert.
  • (Amnesty International, London, 23 May 2011) Amnesty International has expressed its disappointment in relation to a number of missed opportunities, and the resulting gaps and shortcomings in the revised text of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. In particular, Amnesty noted the lack of consistency in OECD policy, pointing out that the Common Approaches on the Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits make no reference to human rights.
  • (European Union, Brussels, 10 May 2011) The EU Exports Credits Group has published the minutes of its 5-6 April 2011 meetings in Brussels. The document briefly outlines discussions on the OECD Common Approaches, civil aircraft understanding, Russian membership in the OECD Export Credit Working Group, a sustainable lending survey, a G20 discussion re ECAs, ship building and other issues. Frequent mention was made that "there was no document from the OECD Secretariat'. These minutes are one of the few glimpses of what is on the official export credit agencies' agendas.
  • (Seattle Times, Seattle, 20 May 2011) The U.S. Export-Import Bank says it is considering backing loans to any U.S. airline that wants to buy Boeing 737s in a head-to-head sales campaign against the Bombardier CSeries jet supported by the Canadian government. European export credit agencies will do the same for the Airbus A320. This follows failed negotiations in which U.S. officials warned the Canadians that this outcome could produce a "race to the bottom." A U.S. diplomatic cable made public last month by WikiLeaks revealed tense private negotiations between Canada and the U.S. that failed to head off the emerging confrontation over aircraft loan guarantees.
  • (RusBusinessNews, Moscow, 20 May 2011) Russia is getting ready to launch the Export Credit and Investment Insurance Agency. The government expects that this step, along with soft lending offered to foreign customers, will help domestic machine-builders to build up exports of their products. Manufacturers have told "RusBusinessNews" that the production of competitive machine-building products in Russia is impeded by corruption and absence of political will, not by access to credit. Meanwhile, the U.S. is working to bring Russia into the OECD, which would include its agreeing to be open to investment, export-credit, anti-bribery and other disciplines.
  • (MyJoyOnline, Accra, 19 May 2011) The African Trade Insurance Agency( ATI), Africa's only multilateral import & export credit and political risk agency announced Ghana is soon to complete the membership process of becoming its 16th member country
  • (RTTNews, New York, 11 May 2011) China has agreed to implement certain measures that will help level the competitive playing field between U.S. and Chinese companies. China and the United States, recognizing the importance of transparency and fairness in export credit policies, have agreed to hold discussions on export - "on the terms of our respective export credit policies." China is the largest provider of export credit in the world.