EU in talks over export credit facility for ECAs, banks

(Global Trade Review, London, 19 June 2023) The EU is weighing the launch of an export credit facility that could reinsure member state export credit agencies (ECAs) and refinance commercial loans, as it seeks to arrest the relative decline in exports from the bloc to key overseas markets. The European Commission, parliament and member states are now in talks to devise a strategy on export credits following the publication last week of a feasibility study which recommended several steps the EU could take in the next three years. Policymakers are seeking to harness the financial might of ECAs and export-import banks across its 27 countries by aligning them to key EU strategies such as transitioning to green energy, overseas investment and competition with China and the US. The feasibility study, authored by independent consultants and launched by the Commission last year, lamented a 5% drop in the EU’s share of merchandise goods exports to high-risk third countries in the decade to 2020, and double-digit declines in the share of EU contractors in business in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Exports to third countries prop up some 38 million EU jobs, according to the study. ECAs are widely used by contractors to insure and lower the cost of financing capital-intensive infrastructure projects in what are deemed to be high-risk markets for credit, which include major developing economies such as Turkey, Vietnam, South Africa, Nigeria and Pakistan.