Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) are national public institutions that offer private companies three different kinds of support: direct credit (1), credit insurance (2) and /or guarantees (3). This support which is guaranteed by the state allows companies to reduce the financial risk when signing contracts abroad especially in fragile developing countries. Some of these agencies are governmental, such as the ECGD (export Credits Guarantee Department) in the United Kingdom, whereas others are private organisations working on behalf of the state, such as COFACe in France. Most industrialised countries have at least one official Export Credit Agency. Their aim is to support the establishment of national industries abroad. The agencies help finance high risk projects (dams, mining, pipelines, chemical projects,…) which due notably to their environmental or social impact could not be carried out without this support 1 .
In 1963, the OECD established the “Working Party on export Credits and Credit Guarantees” (ECG) which is in charge of carrying forward the work of the OECD concerning export credits. Its objectives are to analyse export credit and guarantee policies, to determine potential problems and to resolve or mitigate these through multilateral discussions.