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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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What's New October 2021

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.

  • New OECD coal financing restrictions represent weak progress
  • ECAs provide billions to fossil fuel projects yearly - Join us at COP26
  • European Commission opens consultation on extending temporary State export credit aid
  • SACE Could Support Novatek's Giant Arctic LNG 2 Project
  • NGOs release the 2021 Global Coal Exit List: 1000 companies driving the world towards climate chaos
  • Ukraine in talks with Britain on supply of missiles
  • Export credit agencies have stepped up during the pandemic
  • Canada won’t stop Crown corporations from investing in fossil fuels any time soon
  • Export Finance Australia offers A$2bn (US$1.5 B) in critical mineral loans
  • UKEF £1.5bn earmarked for Nigeria ‘largely untouched’
  • ECAs of UAE and France sign strategic reinsurance agreement
  • Will a Taliban victory advance TAPI pipeline with ECA support?
  • JBIC and Private Banks Must Reconsider Decision to Finance LNG Canada Project

New OECD coal financing restrictions represent weak progress

(Oil Change International, Washington, 22 October 2021) Today the OECD Export Credit Group announced new restrictions on its support for overseas coal projects. These restrictions build on the Coal-Fired Electricity Generation Sector Understanding that was negotiated in 2015 and went into effect 1 January 2017. That agreement prevented OECD-member export credit agencies (ECAs) from supporting coal-fired power plants that were less efficient unless they were in developing countries. Unfortunately, there were loopholes that allowed for continued support even for coal plants that did not meet these restrictions. Today’s restrictions would end ECA support for coal plants that do not have carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) equipment in place. Still some export of equipment for retrofitting plants with CCUS or reducing emissions will be allowed if lifetime and capacity of coal plants is not extended. The restrictions do not address export finance for coal mines and related infrastructure, nor oil and gas financing even if the latest IEA report shows that investments in new fossil fuel production need to end this year to limit warming to 1.5°C.


ECAs provide billions to fossil fuel projects yearly - Join us at COP26

(ECA Watch, 27 October 2021) We can’t solve the climate crisis if export credit agencies (ECAs) continue to bankroll fossil fuels. Tell the governments behind these agencies to immediately end all export credit and other public financial support for oil, gas and coal.
Join our side event at COP26 November 4, 2021 in Glasglow
At COP26 on November 4, 2021, 16.45-18.00 Glasgow time representatives from NGOs and Zurich-based universities will host a digital side event on aligning export finance with the Paris Agreement. Contrary to Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement, many countries heavily support fossil fuel investments abroad, contributing to carbon lock-in. By highlighting the impacts caused by export finance in the Global South, this side event will provide concrete recommendations for decarbonizing export finance. The speakers on the panel are Axel Michaelowa (University of Zurich); Kate DeAngelis (Friends of the Earth US); Bjarne Steffen (ETH Zurich); Laila Darouich (Perspectives Climate Research); Ayumi Fukakusa (Friends of the Earth Japan); Richard Matey (Alliance for Empowering Rural Communities, Ghana) ; Julio Bichehe (Farmers Union Cabo Delgado Mozambique); and Mariane Søndergaard-Jensen (Danish ECA, EKF, Denmark).
To attend the side event digitally, please register using the form. We’ll keep you updated on when and where the event will take place.
Important: you will need to be registered at COP26 to be able to join the event.


European Commission opens consultation on extending temporary State export credit aid

(Lexology, London, 4 October 2021) The European Commission launched a consultation process on 30 September 2021, sending a proposal to Member States on a sixth draft amendment to the Temporary Framework on State aid measures to support member economies in the current COVID-19 outbreak. The Temporary Framework sets out various categories of aid [subsidies?] that can be implemented by Member States, one of which is more flexible rules on short-term export credit (which are not covered by the OECD Arrangement), permitting state aid via export credit insurance to riskier countries, allowing generous financial terms beyond fair market competition. The Commission proposes to extend until 30 June 2022 the temporary removal of all countries from the list of “marketable risk countries” under Annex 1 of the Communication on short-term export credit insurance. Marketable risk countries are those which may have risks due to exchange rate volatility, foreign exchange control regulations, lack of foreign exchange for repayment, etc.


SACE Could Support Novatek's Giant Arctic LNG 2 Project

(Offshore Enginer, New York, 22 October 2021)Italy's biggest banking group Intesa Sanpaolo could help fund Novatek's Arctic LNG 2 project even as some European governments show lukewarm support for the giant Russian gas project. Antonio Fallico, chairman of group unit Banca Intesa Russia, told Reuters the bank had been invited to look at the financing deal by SACE, the state-owned Italian export credit agency. Novatek said in September they had credit lines open for a third of the total financing from Russian banks, adding Chinese and Japanese banks could provide the rest. The pressure on institutional investors from climate lobby groups to stop funding fossil fuel companies has intensified markedly in recent years. The $21 billion project, which received final investment approval in 2019, is expected to reach full capacity of almost 20 million tonnes of LNG per year in 2026.


NGOs release the 2021 Global Coal Exit List: 1000 companies driving the world towards climate chaos

(Urgewald, Berlin, 6 October 2021) Three weeks before the start of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Urgewald and 40 partner NGOs have released the 2021 update of the “Global Coal Exit List” (GCEL). The GCEL provides detailed data on 1,030 companies and around 1,800 subsidiaries operating along the thermal coal value chain. It is the world’s most comprehensive public database on the coal industry.


Ukraine in talks with Britain on supply of missiles

(Goa Spotlight, London, 21 October 2021) The UK is negotiating with Ukraine on the sale of the first ever consignment of weapons, in particular missiles, the Times newspaper writes with reference to a Ukrainian source. As part of the discussed agreements, London may supply Kiev with ground-to-ground missiles and aircraft missiles. The UK Ministry of Defense, according to the newspaper, is also discussing the sale of Brimstone missiles to Kiev, developed by the MDBA consortium, for installation on the ships of the Ukrainian Navy. In addition, the parties are considering the possibility of supplying air-launched Brimstone missiles, their cost is about $ 138,000. According to some reports, according to the Times, negotiations on the supply of weapons to Ukraine may also be linked to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The talks are prompted by the strengthening of relations between Kiev and London after the UK left the European Union. In October last year, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a contract with the UK Export Credit Agency, which deals with the supply of modern military equipment and the latest high-precision weapons to Kiev, types of military products in Ukraine, as well as the construction of bases for the Ukrainian Navy.


Export credit agencies have stepped up during the pandemic

(Financial Times Trade Secrets, Budapest, 26 October 2021) The industry has helped backstop sectors such as airlines hit hard by Covid, saving companies and jobs. An interview with the head of the Berne Union, an association of export credit agencies, to find out how it is helping exporters arm themselves against the downsides of the pandemic through export credit and insurance. The Berne Union operates all over the world allowing countries such as the US and China or Iran and Israel to discuss trade issues freely at Berne Union conferences, with political considerations mostly taking a back seat. It was that environment of co-operation that helped ensure exporters did not go out of business permanently when coronavirus effectively shut down cross-border movement during the spring of 2020. Over the course of the pandemic, members of the Berne Union provided $2.5tn in cover, its president Michal Ron told Trade Secrets. All in all, the volume of business supported by members rose 2.4 per cent between 2019 and 2020. “We have ECAs that are government agencies directly under a ministry,” she said. “Others are joint stock companies with a government-based shareholder. Some simply use direct government funding — it depends.


Canada won’t stop Crown corporations from investing in fossil fuels any time soon

(Peterborough Examiner, 18 October 2021) The federal government has no plans to immediately stop Crown corporations from financing fossil fuel companies, but it’s not ruling out pushing them to reduce those supports more quickly, says Canada’s environment minister. The issue of public financing for oil and gas companies is expected to be on the agenda at the next major world summit on climate change this month, where countries that signed the 2016 Paris Agreement — including Canada — are under pressure to increase efforts to reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions. A major report from leading scientists this summer prompted the United Nations’ secretary general to herald the “death knell” for fossil fuels that have driven emissions for decades. In an interview Friday, federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told the Star that Crown institutions like Export Development Canada (EDC) are already committed to “net-zero” emissions — when nature or technology can remove remaining greenhouse gas pollution from the air — by 2050. Big money is in play here. EDC, the government’s export credit agency, says it provided financing and insurance that helped facilitate $62 billion in business for Canadian oil and gas companies from 2015 to 2020. And the board that invests the Canada Pension Plan’s $500-billion pool of money says it had about $17.6 billion invested with fossil fuel producers around the world as of March 2021.


Export Finance Australia offers A$2bn (US$1.5 B) in critical mineral loans

(Global Trade Review, London, 6 October 2021) The Australian government has created a A$2bn (US$1.5bn) loan facility to spur investment in the country’s critical minerals sector, as it attempts to position Australia at the source of supply chains for technologies such as battery storage and electric vehicles. The facility will be provided through the National Interest Account (NIA) of Export Finance Australia (EFA), the country’s export credit agency. The NIA handles transactions that the government directs EFA to support. Minerals such as lithium, cobalt, titanium and rare earth elements are categorised as critical minerals because they are relatively scarce or geographically concentrated, difficult to substitute and are used in emerging technologies including large batteries. China is currently the biggest exporter of many of the minerals, with Australia another top supplier.


UKEF £1.5bn earmarked for Nigeria ‘largely untouched’

(PUNCH Nigeria, Lagos, 24 October 2021) The £1.5bn financing set aside for Nigeria by the UK Export Finance, the United Kingdom government’s export credit agency, has remained largely untouched, the UK Government Department for International Trade, Nigeria has said at the 2021 Energy Sustainability Conference organised by the Energy Institute Nigeria in Lagos. “UKEF is focussed on 30 countries in Africa with a combined market risk appetite of £58bn." According to Chimwemwe Chalemera, Country Director, UK Government Department for International Trade, Nigeria, the UK’s renewable energy capabilities are a right match with the energy needs of Africa and Nigeria in achieving net zero ambitions. Meanwhile over 50 Nigerian civil society groups have written to President Buhari calling for oil in the massive OPL 245 field to be kept in the ground. This is the field that Shell and Eni acquired after allegedly paying $1.1 billion in bribes. The companies' subsidiaries are currently being prosecuted in Nigeria and there is still an investigation in The Netherlands.


ECAs of UAE and France sign strategic reinsurance agreement

(Insurance News Net, Dubai, 5 October 2021) Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal export credit company and the French Export Credit Agency Bpifrance Assurance Export have signed a reinsurance agreement to increase joint Emirati and French projects globally. The agreement will further strengthen the robust trade and economic cooperation between the UAE and France and boost exports in both countries by providing export insurance solutions for Emirati and French companies. The UAE is France’s second-largest trade partner in the region. As part of boosting investment and trade ties, ECI earlier signed agreements with its counterparts in  the UK and Italy. The agreement with France has been deemed another milestone in ECI's mission to deepen the UAE's economic ties and non-oil trade.Saudi Arabia and Sweden have also discussed enhancing economic cooperation including via their ECAs.


Will a Taliban victory advance TAPI pipeline with ECA support?

(Natural Gas World, Vancouver, 19 October 2021) The Taliban’s ascent is driving renewed discussion about the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on August 18 that TAPI is a “long-term priority project” that the Taliban fully supports. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, energy companies have pondered routes to send natural gas from gas-abundant yet land-locked Turkmenistan to energy-poor Pakistan and onward to India. The Berdimuhamedov government of Turkmenistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have made this pipeline a priority for years, but it has long been on life support, with the project’s press releases failing to obscure its grim deficits. the project is strapped for cash. The ADB has indicated it will contribute $1 billion in loans. The Turkmen government, grappling with a massive economic crisis, has risibly pledged $1.675 billion. The remainder is envisioned to come from export credit agencies and commercial lenders, all lending individually to the four governments and relying on sovereign guarantees from each country. What is an Afghan sovereign guarantee worth?


JBIC and Private Banks Must Reconsider Decision to Finance LNG Canada Project

(Friends of the Earth Japan, Tokyo, 29 October 2021) The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), a public financial institution fully owned by the Government of Japan, announced in a press release today that it has decided to provide up to US $850 million for the LNG Canada Project. The LNG Canada project plans to liquefy shale gas extracted from Montney, British Columbia and transported through its 670 km Coastal Gaslink pipeline to Kitimat for export to Asian markets.The decision by JBIC ahead of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) starting from the end of this week in Glasgow, England, goes against the call by the UK government to stop public financing for fossil fuels, and shows that Japan's approach to climate change is still far from that of the rest of the world. It is inevitable that Japan will once again become the target of criticism from the international community. Serious violations of indigenous peoples rights have been pointed out in an associated project of the LNG Canada project. We strongly condemn JBIC's decision to provide financing, disregarding the impact on climate change and the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, and call on involved operators and financial institutions to immediately withdraw from the project.


What's New September 2021

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.

  • U.S., Europe at OECD Seek to End Export Financing for Coal
  • New report reveals German government sabotages international energy transition
  • SACE and NEXI finance large carbon bomb vessel for Dutch SBM Offshore
  • UKEF is ‘exaggerating’ the number of businesses helped
  • Aligning export finance to sustainable development goals
  • UKEF targets net zero emissions by 2050
  • Swedish ECA launches Green Guarantee to promote climate investments
  • ECAs and the Impact of Plastics on Human Rights
  • SACE says exports to return to pre-COVID levels this year
  • Exim India extends $100 mn loan to Africa Finance Corp for infra development
  • SACE backs Lima Metro Line 2
  • Saudi EXIM Bank signs a reinsurance agreement with ICIEC
  • Will ECAs support Afghan projects under the Taliban

U.S., Europe at OECD Seek to End Export Financing for Coal

(Wall Street Journal, Paris, 14 September 2021) The U.S., the European Union, South Korea and other wealthy nations are moving to forbid their export-financing agencies from supporting coal-fired power projects overseas, in an effort to end government support for a fuel that is one of the world’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases. The proposed ban, which will be made this week at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, is part of the West’s campaign to push China, India and other big developing countries to take a tough position against coal ahead of the November climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. China and India have resisted entreaties by the U.S. and Europe to commit to end subsidies for coal-fired electricity, raising fears that deadlock over the issue could result in the collapse of climate negotiations in Glasgow. The OECD, a Paris-based organization of 38 developing and developed economies, oversees an agreement governing export-credit agencies, which provide financing for overseas customers of the countries’ domestic companies. The U.S., the 27 nations of the EU, the U.K., Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Turkey are signatories of the deal. In other news the US Treasury has instructed representatives at multilateral development banks to support clean energy projects over fossil fuels, putting the fate of several gas projects in the balance. Interestingly no news could be found on the OECD website today on the results of the OECD coal negotiations on September 15-16. The OECD web site divulges no results at all for searches re export credit and their ECA work page is burried very deep in their site map and shows no postings since September 8th. Indications are that there were differences over the definition of "unabated coal fired plants" to be banned, whether to include gas and mining or transport of coal. Further meetings are planned for October 12th and 20th. As world leaders met for a high level dialogue on energy at the UN in New York, 200 green groups urged them to embrace renewables and stop financing all fossil fuels.


New report reveals German government sabotages international energy transition

(Urgewald, Berlin, 15 September 2021) A new report by the environmental organisations urgewald and Deutsche Umwelt-Hilfe (DUH) shows that the German government is supporting climate-damaging oil and gas projects with guarantees worth billions of euros. In the report, the organisations examine climate-damaging oil and gas-related export credit guarantees as well as untied loan guarantees (UFK guarantees) for the period 2015 to May 2021. During this time, the German government approved 144 export guarantees in the oil and gas sector with a total volume of more than 11.75 billion euros via Euler Hermes AG. Of the 28 countries in which oil and gas guarantees were granted, 15 are considered "not free", according to Freedom House. The report is based on data made available to the two organisations by the German government through a Freedom of Information Act request.


SACE and NEXI finance large carbon bomb vessel for Dutch SBM Offshore

(Offshore Technology, London, 16 September 2021) Dutch floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) operator SBM Offshore has completed the largest project financing in its history, of the vessel FPSO Sepetiba, for a total of $1.6bn. SBM Offshore was established in 1862 and its main activity is to design, supply, install, operate, and maintain FPSO vessels. It accounts for over 1,660,000 [barrels?] of total fleet oil production capacity. The project financing was secured by a consortium of 13 international banks, with insurance cover from Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and SACE. The vessel has a processing capacity of up to 180,0000 (sic) barrels of oil per day, a water injection capacity of 250,000 barrels per day, associated gas treatment capacity of 12mmscm, and a minimum storage capacity of 1.4mmbbl. It will be moored in approximately 2,000m water depth and will be deployed at the Mero field in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil. The Libra block, where the Mero field is located, is under a production sharing agreement with a consortium comprised of Petrobras as the operator with 40% interest; Shell with 20%; TotalEnergies with 20%; China Southern Petroleum Exploration and Development Corporation with 10%; and China National Offshore Oil Corporation with 10% interest. Petrobras, a state-owned Brazilian multinational corporation in the petroleum industry, awarded a contract to SBM Offshore for the 22.5 years lease and operation of the FPSO for the Mero field in December 2019. The Guardian notes that carbon bombs, gigantic coal, oil and gas projects from around the world, if they go ahead, will raise global emissions and cause dangerous climate change.


UKEF is ‘exagerating’ the number of businesses helped

(The Times, London, 20 September 2021) The UK's UKEF has been accused of exaggerating how many businesses it has supported, of undermining the national drive towards net-zero carbon emissions and of doing too little to help smaller exporters. MPs on the Commons’ international trade committee said that UK Export Finance had directly helped far fewer companies than its “headline figure of 549 businesses supported” in the 2020-21 financial year, with only 167 directly applying for finance and insurance. Global Trade Review also notes that the government inquiry into the work of UKEF has raised concerns over the agency’s concentration of support in certain sectors, ambiguous figures in its annual accounts, and potential exposure to environmental and human rights issues.


Aligning export finance to sustainable development goals

(Bizcommunity, Cape Town, 23 September 2021) A clear call to action to rethink the sustainability performance of the export finance market has come out of an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) white paper. Released at a major event during United Nations (UN) General Assembly week and developed with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation and 16 leading banks, the white paper explores how the US$700bn export finance industry can significantly increase its contribution to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris climate accord.


UKEF targets net zero emissions by 2050

(Energy Live News, London, 23 September 2021) The UKEF has committed to making all of its £50 billion capacity carbon-neutral by 2050 on a net basis. Through its new climate strategy, the country’s export credit agency will increase its support for clean growth, renewables and climate adaptation exports. UKEF currently has a £50 billion capacity to support UK exports through loans and insurance. Through the new agreement, this capacity will be entirely carbon-neutral by 2050 on a net basis. It hopes its actions can inspire more financial institutions to take action ahead of COP26 in less than 50 days. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, International Trade Secretary, said: “UKEF’s net zero pledge shows the UK’s climate leadership and is an encouragement for other countries to follow suit. Meanwhile, a South West Business Council survey of companies finds many are not prepared to tackle emmissions and many have yet to be convinced about the economic benefits of going green and want financial support to achieve it.


Swedish ECA launches Green Guarantee to promote climate investments

(EKN, Stockholm, 15 September 2021) EKN launches a new credit guarantee to facilitate financing of green exports as well as green transition projects within Swedish exporting companies. The new guarantee covers the bank’s risk up to 80 percent instead of previously 50 percent, which increases the capacity for credit. It is offered to companies with direct or indirect exports that contribute to the climate transition. The assessment criteria’s will be based on the EU-taxonomy. EKN’s Green Guarantee covers both working capital and financing of a specific investment, in businesses contributing to the climate transition. In addition, a Scientific Climate Council, a group of academic experts, will provide advisory support to the Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) to assist aligning the Swedish export finance system with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal, according to a SEK press release. The climate council is the first of its kind in the world and will focus on issues such as the role of natural gas for the energy transition in low- and middle-income countries.


ECAs and the Impact of Plastics on Human Rights

(IISD, Winnipeg, 16 September 2021) A UN Special Rapporteur has issued 2 reports on human rights in the area of hazardous substances. The report calls for phasing out subsidies and export credit and guarantees for fossil fuel extraction, plastics production facilities, and plastic-to-energy projects. One report addresses the stages of the plastics cycle and their impacts on human rights, and focuses on the right to science in the context of toxic substances. Marcos Orellana, the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, writes that the global plastics crisis reveals how every stage of the plastics cycle, including extraction and refining, production, transport, use, and waste. has adverse effects on the full enjoyment of human rights. The report (A/76/207) includes recommendations to address the negative consequences of the plastics cycle on human rights and integrate a human rights-based approach in transitioning to a chemically safe circular economy.


SACE says exports to return to pre-COVID levels this year

(ANSA, Rome, 14 September 2021) The global economy's rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will see Italian exports return to pre-pandemic levels this year and grow further in the coming years, export credit agency SACE said in a report on Tuesday. SACE forecast that Italian exports would increase 11.3% this year, with foreign sales of Italian goods worth 482 billion euros. It said exports would then grow by 5.4% in 2022 and by 4% in 2023.


Exim India extends $100 mn loan to Africa Finance Corp for infra development

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 31 August 2021) Exim Bank of India has extended a line of credit of $100 million on behalf of the Indian government to the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to develop infrastructure in the continent and boost economic revival of countries in the region, infrastructure required for the revival of Africa's economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


SACE backs Lima Metro Line 2

(Global Legal Chronicle, Rome, 2 September 2021) A syndicate of lenders, including Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, KfW IPEX-Bank, Société Générale, Banco Santander and Instituto de Crédito Oficial E.P.E. – ICO, provided a US$811 million syndicated credit facility backed by the Italian export credit Agency SACE, involving the securitization of Peruvian government-backed payment rights for the extension of Lima's Metro Line 2. The export credit agency-backed syndicated loan involved a securitization of RPI-CAOs and will be used to finance the development and construction of the Lima Metro Line 2 and is the largest RPI-CAO deal ever financed under a credit facility financing structure in Peru.


Saudi EXIM Bank signs a reinsurance agreement with ICIEC

(Saudi Gazette, Jeddah, 3 September 2021) The Saudi Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank) has signed an agreement with the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), to launch a special insurance product that helps Saudi banks to provide more credit facilities for the export of Saudi non-oil products, and enable them to increase their ability to enhance letter of credit received from foreign banks for the benefit of Saudi exporters.


Will ECAs support Afghan projects under the Taliban

(Bloomberg Opinion, 7 September 2021) In an opinion written for Bloomberg, the former Governor of the central bank of Afghanistan (DAB) notes: "There are optimistic suggestions that the hard-won integration of Afghanistan into the global economy will remain despite the ascendancy of the Taliban and the withdrawal of the U.S. A number of commentators have suggested that China — which the Taliban have declared their strongest ally — could become Afghanistan’s primary economic supporter and help the country stay part of the global system. That analysis is unrealistic. For one, it ignores the sanctions regime imposed by the international community on the Taliban... Afghanistan’s physical money supply will be impaired. This is because the central bank does not print its own currency: DAB typically receives afghanis produced by specialist firms overseas... I am relatively certain that these deliveries cannot be made... Second, the $7 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline project (TAPI) will likely not proceed. This pipeline would have brought 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from the Turkmen Galkynysh field — the world’s second largest — to  Pakistan and India. It would have generated a few hundred million dollars in transit revenues for the Government of Afghanistan... As a result of the sanctions regime and security concerns, European companies will not be able to provide equipment or the financing. They will certainly not be able to obtain insurance for the project. For now, the project has to be assumed to be dead... Third, hopes to profit from the country’s mineral resources have to be scaled back — or abandoned... these projects requires international financing and more... The Taliban will face the same economic challenges as the previous regime — but under sanctions and with much less international financial support. Afghanistan’s new rulers must face this reality, form an inclusive government and adhere to international standards. Otherwise, they will further impoverish themselves and the Afghan people."