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ECA initiative: Export credit agencies of Germany, Austria and Switzerland agree to cooperate closer 

Press release

Berlin, June 12, 2019. The export credit agencies of Germany, Austria and Switzerland intend to cooperate even closer in future. An agreement to this effect was undertaken by the managing directors of Euler Hermes (Germany), OeKB (Austria) and SERV (Switzerland) at a meeting in Basel at the end of May. The cooperation refers to state export credit guarantees. These are normally used where the private insurance industry does not offer sufficient or relevant facilities.

 

Strengthening D-A-CH exporters’ and small and mid-size enterprises’ competitive position

Foreign trade and export financing are changing. In particular, Asian state banks increasingly offer financing at non-standard conditions thus distorting international competition. The cooperation, which has been agreed, aims at improving the export opportunities of German, Austrian and Swiss exporters (D-A-CH exporters) and strengthening their position in international competition.

Edna Schöne, member of the board of management of Euler Hermes AG: “We are committed to continuous benchmarking and comparison with the best. This works particularly well with our German-speaking neighbours. Moreover, OeKB and SERV traditionally are extremely important cooperation partners of Euler Hermes in large multi-sourcing projects because the supported companies are geographically close, speak the same language and are frequently affiliated.”

 

Collaboration in financing

ECA financing is another subject where the three countries intend to cooperate closer in future. For example, it is planned to bundle orders, conduct joint road shows in emerging markets and offer complete financing packages. With this initiative, the three ECAs react to the situation that ever more frequently the prospective buyer abroad is the one who decides on credit financing.

Peter Gisler, director of SERV: “It is of great help for both companies and banks if they can expect a financing package. At the same time, the exporter gains a competitive edge if he can complement his commercial and technical offer with financing at attractive conditions.”

The three ECAs agreed on a continuous and intensive exchange of experience on the working level in the fields of digitisation, data analytics, automatic credit rating, standardisation of methods and processes, reinsurance agreements, cooperation in claims handling, sale of receivables and other technical questions. This will also include an employee exchange programme.

In addition, joint industry conferences are planned. The first one is to take place in the fourth quarter of this year and will deal with rail infrastructure.

Helmut Bernkopf, member of the board of management of OeKB: “Germany, Austria and Switzerland are the home of an extraordinarily high number of hidden champions. They are world market leaders in their particular niche. We can improve the visibility of their competence through cooperating even closer with our German speaking ECA partners and expand the range of activity especially for small and mid-size enterprises.”