Proposal for UK aid money to be used to promote western exports

(Jubilee Debt Campaign, Liege, 10 February 2016) The UK’s Department for International Development is considering using aid money to subsidise lower interest rates for export credits for some low income countries... Under OECD rules, Western government export credit agencies, such as UK Export Finance, are only supposed to lend to low income country governments at lower interest rates. But UK Export Finance does not have such a ‘concessional lending’ arm so the UK government claims it is currently blocked from supporting exports to some low income countries. The response to this problem is to propose to use UK aid money to subsidise lower interest rates. However, it is debatable whether it would be illegal under UK law to subsidise loans tied to British exports, so the proposal is for these subsidies to be available to any export credit agency.