Smart Rules for Fair Trade

50 years of Export Credits

Published on September 28, 2011


On the 50th anniversary of the OECD, we examine the unique work the organisation performs in regulating and rationalising governments’ use of export credits in support of exports, jobs, economic growth and national interests more broadly. This work is part of a global post war effort to emphasise multilateral co operation and sound economic policies to promote co operation, efficiency and prosperity rather than destructive competition, controversy and conflict.

OECD export credits work is one of the basic building blocks of the ever growing structure of global trade agreements that aim to maintain open and efficient markets. The objective is to eliminate subsidies and unfair practices in the economic competition that forms the foundation of a healthy and dynamic global economy. The elimination of official financing subsidies in global trade is only a part of the broader trade policy agenda, but it is a vital part, and has been delegated to the OECD by the WTO. Since financing is the life blood of trade flows, specialised OECD housed work allows trade to flow efficiently for aircraft and other capital goods while other trade policy work and litigation continue at the WTO.

The export credits work at the OECD is described in this collection of essays. However it is about much more than the series of agreements described herein. It is more fundamentally about the governments and their people - policy makers and experts - who gather at the OECD to build collectively a system of export credits disciplines that is fair, transparent, adaptable and effective. It is therefore as much about people and ideas as anything else. The export credit secretariat pictured above represents only the latest in a long line of OECD staff committed to facilitate and advise this work.

The OECD’s motto on its 50th anniversary is “Better Policies for Better Lives.” This reminds us that in the end, it is policies that are at the centre of human well being. And export credits work is about promoting these better policies by developing “smart rules” that open markets and maintain a level playing field and by bringing people and governments together to this end.


Strategic Overview2 chapters available
Open markets matter
Smart rules for fair trade
Evolution of smart rules6 chapters available
Export credits and the OECD
Guidance note on the scope and application of the arrangement
Timeline of export credit agreements trade committee established 1961
Chairpersons of the OECD Export Credit Committees from 1963 to 2011
The early years
OECD work on export credits
Forum of views19 chapters available
Challenges going forward...
Building bridges
Reflections on export credits in the OECD
Human rights and labour standards
Past achievements of the arrangement and future challenges
OECD's achievements on export credits
A german perspective of export credits in the OECD
Export credits and Korea
The European Banking Federation and OECD export credits
Towards the next 50 years
Financing nuclear power plants
Negotiating as a block
A long history in facing challenges
OECD and agricultural export credits: A singular failure
Negotiations and export credits in the OECD
The business view
The OECD and civil society in the fight against corruption
Strength in co-operation: The Berne Union and the OECD
Export credit agencies at the OECD
The global financial crisis3 chapters available
Statements on export credits and the financial crisis
Credit where credit is due
The OECD export credit regime
Greener export credits5 chapters available
A cleaner future?
Development of export credit rules in new areas
The greening of export credits
Implementing environmental common approaches
The US perspective on export credits going green
Civil aircraft4 chapters available
Rules for aircraft financing
The aircraft negotiations 2004 to 2007
From Rio 2007 to Paris 2011
The 2011 aircraft agreement
Concessional and non-concessional export credits2 chapters available
Smart aid rules for development, not export promotion
Sustainable lending and OECD leadership
Premium fees2 chapters available
Premium: The least understood rules of the arrangement
New rules for export credit premium fees
Conclusion1 chapter available
Future challenges
Powered by OECD iLibrary