Progress within export finance on sustainability, but changes sorely needed on OECD Arrangement

(TXF, London, 10 February 2023) The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) White Paper update of its 2021 report shows that ECAs and banks have made good progress on the sustainability front, but lack of change to the OECD Arrangement is holding the sector back. The original White Paper (produced by ICC, Acre Impact Capital, The Rockefeller Foundation, and International Financial Consulting) provided policy and product recommendations designed to align the industry with the United Nations SDGs. The White Paper not only offers a roadmap towards a more sustainable export finance industry, but also provides suggestions from industry participants as to how the sector can change to ensure there are better terms for financing particularly for social projects and transactions. Launched at an ICC workshop on 8 February in Paris, discussions took place around the policy aspect, the framework alignment, the positive steps already witnessed and the route ahead for the sector including the roadblocks that are getting in the way of further improvements. Speaking to TXF about the Whiter Paper update, Chris Mitman, co-chair of the ICC Sustainability Working Group (ICC SWG) said: “It’s clear from this White Paper update that the vast majority of export finance participants – banks and ECAs – have individually made step changes in their response to the SDG delivery challenge. It’s also clear at an industry level there are encouraging signals from the EU and the majority of the Berne Union membership that a fundamental reform of the regulatory framework – most notably the OECD consensus – is required.” He added: “It’s critical therefore, that those few who are fortunate enough and have the privilege of holding seats at these unprecedented OECD modernisation discussions, take this once in a lifetime opportunity to put the export finance industry in a fundamentally stronger position to contribute meaningfully to the delivery of the SDGs."