109th Meeting of the Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG)
13 and 14 November 2006
The Members of the OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG) met on 13 and 14 November 2006. The main issues for discussion were officially supported export credits in the context of a revised survey of Members’ anti-bribery measures, the review of the OECD Recommendation on export credits and the environment, as well as debt sustainability and responsible lending .
Members of the ECG welcomed delegates from a number of Non Member Economies who were invited to participate in the meeting as ad hoc observers. This was the first time that Non Member Economies had been invited to participate in an ECG Meeting: representatives attended from Brazil, China, India, Romania, Slovenia and South Africa; Brazil, China and India are among the global top ten providers of official export credits. In addition, representatives of the International Finance Corporation, International Monetary Fund, United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank and the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers also attended the Meeting.
Earlier in 2006, Members agreed to an enhanced Action Statement on export credits and bribery, which contained strengthened measures designed to ensure that export credit agencies do not provide support for export contracts that are tainted by bribery: this Action Statement is due to be presented to the OECD Council for adoption as an OECD Recommendation before the end of the year. The ongoing survey about Members’ policies and practices with regard to anti-bribery measures will be adjusted to reflect the enhanced Action Statement.
The ECG had a further round of discussions, based on a draft revised text, as part of the ongoing review of the OECD Recommendation on environment and export credits. In reviewing the proposals and options presented to them, Members were able to draw on comments made by Civil Society Organisations, who had been consulted on the draft prior to the Meeting; comments had been submitted from BIAC (including separate contributions from the German and French business federations), TUAC, the European Banking Federation and ECA-Watch. The ECG intends to meet again to try and conclude the review in early 2007. Members also reviewed a proposal for the public dissemination of information on projects in environmentally sensitive sites and sectors reported for 2005 under the current OECD Recommendation; this will be made available before the end of the year via the OECD website.
The ECG received presentations from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the issue of debt sustainability and responsible lending in the context of the Joint International Monetary Fund-World Bank Debt Sustainability Framework initiative; the ECG is to ascertain ways and means to support the initiative. In this context, the China EXIM BANK gave a presentation of its development loans programme. The ECG also had an initial discussion on Members’ 2005 business volumes and financial flows: related data will be made available via the OECD website.