The Participants are the "owners" of the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits (the “Arrangement”). The Participants effectively came into being with agreement to the first Arrangement in 1978.
The Participants Group is not an OECD body and does not, therefore report to the OECD Council; however, it meets under the auspices of the OECD with support from the OECD Export Credits Secretariat. The Participants do, however, report to OECD Ministers who in turn provide instructions and guidance as necessary. The current Participants are Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. In addition, Israel and Turkey are observers to Participants’ meetings and other organisations, such as the Berne Union, EBRD, IMF, UNEP, World Bank and WTO, are invited to meetings when issues of mutual interest are discussed.
In effect, the Participants negotiate and implement rules (the Arrangement) in support of their policy objectives related to officially supported export credits by providing a framework for the orderly use of officially supported export credits. In practice, this means providing for a level playing field, whereby exporters compete on the basis of the price and quality of their products rather than the cost of official export credit financing, and reducing subsidies and trade distortions related to officially supported export credits.
The Arrangement provides financial disciplines for standard export credits, for export credits relating to certain sectors (ships, nuclear power projects, aircraft, and renewable energy, climate change mitigation and water projects), flexible terms for project finance transactions, etc. In addition, the Arrangement also provides disciplines for trade-related aid. More information on all these disciplines is available under the Arrangement section.
The status of the Arrangement has always been one of "useful ambiguity". Although widely known as the "OECD Arrangement" and developed and monitored at the OECD, the Arrangement is not an OECD act. It is, rather, a "Gentleman's Agreement" between certain countries that are all Members of the OECD. Given this status, the Participants are able to amend the financial disciplines of the Arrangement in real time to respond to changing market conditions, without the need to seek OECD Council approval.
The Participants meet separately when discussing issues relating to nuclear power projects or civil aircraft and for consultations on trade-related aid. In this context, Brazil is a full Participant to the Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Civil Aircraft.
In addition, there are two subgroups of experts that undertake technical work relating to premium and country risk classifications.
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