Journal Issue
Share
Article

Letters

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
January 1999
Share
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

Export credit agencies

The June 1999 issue of Finance & Development, which dealt with the accomplishments and problems of economies in transition, was superb. The articles devoted to this subject provide a valuable insight into the extraordinary progress achieved against overwhelming odds in undoing decades of economic mismanagement in the afflicted countries of the former Soviet Union and its erstwhile satellite nations. Although two of the articles in this issue hint at the importance of exporting to economic development by indicating the growth of trade, this absolutely critical element is not addressed in the text. A fascinating chart would have been a correlation of export growth rates with the activities of officially sponsored export credit agencies (ECAs).

For example, the highest average annual growth rate of exports (24 percent) is shown for the Baltics, where Latvia’s national ECA, Latvijas Eksportkredits, is rapidly expanding its activity. The same can be said of Lithuania’s ECA, Lietuvos Eksport ir Importo Draudimas, and of Estonia’s Export Development Agency. In Central Europe, with average annual export growth rates of more than 15 percent, effective and well-managed ECAs include EGAP in the Czech Republic, Hungary’s Export-Import Bank, Poland’s KUKE, the Export-Import Bank of the Slovak Republic, and the Slovene Export Corporation.

In southeastern Europe, with export growth rates of 3 percent, Romania’s Eximbank is less dynamic than the examples cited above, while Bulgaria has only recently established the Bulgarian Export Insurance Agency. Both Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina have fledgling trade finance agencies, supported by the World Bank, that offer repayment guarantees to those selling on credit to private sector buyers if nonpayment is the result of political events, such as lack of foreign exchange, war or civil disturbance, currency inconvertibility, and similar risks. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia/Montenegro) no longer has an official export credit agency.

In the Commonwealth of Independent States, specialized export finance remains essentially unavailable. Export growth in these countries has been largely in raw materials and commodities, which are sold internationally for cash or near-cash. The Export-Import Bank of Russia appears mired in a formative stage; the Ukraine Eximbank is not really an ECA; and, while Armenia is considering creating an ECA, there has yet to be action. Exports of value-added goods, providing the most benefit for an exporting economy, require adequate pre-and postshipment financing facilities.

By supporting exporters’ working capital needs and providing postshipment export credit insurance, ECAs could help many firms throughout the region to become effective competitors in the global marketplace. We have found, by helping to launch and improve export credit agencies supporting exporters in over a hundred countries around the world, that ECAs are an essential element in establishing and maintaining competitiveness and expanding exports, thereby contributing to a vibrant, rapidly growing national economy.

Delia E. Gianturco

President

First Washington Associates

Arlington, Virginia

Proceedings of The Brookings Institution and the World Bank

Conference on

Financial Markets and Development

The Crisis in Emerging Markets

The March 1999 conference on Financial Markets and Development brought together prominent capital market experts to examine the causes of the crisis in emerging markets and explore measures to prevent future crisis. The policy papers included in this book address emerging market policy issues, and offers some solutions, regarding topics such as: the growth of Asian emerging markets, corporate governance and the treatment of minority shareholders and prospects for foreign investment in emerging markets.

ISBN: 0-8157-3497-2 Price: $24.95

The World Bank InfoShop

1818 H Street, N.W.; Room J1-060

Washington, D. C. 20433

Phone: (202) 458-5454

Fax: (202) 522-1500

E-mail: pic@worldbank.org

http://www.worldbank.org/html/pic/extpub.htm

Safeguarding Prosperity in a Global Financial System: The Future International Financial Architecture

Morris Goldstein, Project Director Report of an Independent Commission Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations

This report contains the findings and recommendations of an independent blue-ribbon commission on the prevention and management of international financial crises. The report analyzes the main factors that give rise to banking, currency, and debt crises, and it proposes a set of interrelated recommendations for improving crisis prevention and resolution. It also explains why the United States, despite its impressive overall economic performance since the outbreak of the Asian crisis, has a large stake in the future international financial architecture. The task force offers specific proposals for reforming the IMF’s lending policies and refocusing the mandates of the IMF and the World Bank on leaner agendas.

Published by the Institute for International Economics for the Council on Foreign Relations.

September 1999. 150 pages. ISBN paper 0-88132-287-3. $16.95.

Customers may order publications directly from the Institute:

Write:

Institute for International Economics

PO Box 960

Herndon, VA 20172

Tel: (800) 522-9139

Fax: (703) 661-1501

Email: orders@iie.com

Customers outside the US may purchase books through their local distributor. Please contact the Institute or visit our website for details.

INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS

Institute publications are available in the following Washington, DC locations:

Olsson’s Books & Music

* * * *

Reiter’s Science & Technical Books

* * * *

Washington Law & Professional Books

* * * *

World Bank Infoshop

Coming in October 1999

our new online bookstore, shopping cart and more.

Visit us at: www.iie.coni

7th International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy

June 10-21, 2000–Gainesville, Florida USA

“This course puts the most important regulatory issues in perspective and provides an excellent background for present and future regulators. “– Utility Regulator

This premier program has trained over 500 utility regulators and managers from 87 countries in best practices for:

  • Market Reform and Regulation of Network

  • Principles and Application of Incentive Regulation

  • Managing the Introduction of Competition in and for the Market

  • Managing the Regulatory Process Industries

  • Financial Analysis for Utility Regulation

  • Non-Price Aspects of Utility Regulation

  • Rate Structure

For more information about the course and how to apply, please visit our website at: http://www.cba.ufl.edu/eco/purc or contact us by phone: 352-392-6148 or fax: 352-392-7796

ONE COMPANY, ONE FUTURE, MANAGING FOR VALUE.

The Cupola Group is a regionally-focused operating group. Its purpose is building businesses that take advantage of growth opportunities in the markets of the Middle East and South Asia. Cupola’s headquarters are in Dubai. The Group has operating offices throughout the Middle East and in London, Geneva, Washington DC, Jebel Ali and Karachi. We have 4,500 professionals and staff under management. Welcome to our World.

www.cupolagroup.com

Other Resources Citing This Publication