Blog / 19 March 2013

Eraser for Minister Ploumen's charcoal sketch

Eraser for Minister Ploumen's charcoal sketch


Both ENDS is tracking the movements Atradius DSB - the institute responsible for export credit insurances. Promoting export by credit insurances sounds great, but reality shows a different story. The taxpayer in the developing countries will eventually pay the price through a complicated deal between the Ministry of Finances and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. A recent study conducted by Eurodad shows that 80% of the bilateral debts of developing countries are caused by this kind of insurances.


Moreover, the transparency of Atradius is questionable. In our  last research on export credits in Brazil we looked at the expansion of the harbour of Suape, nearby Recife. We found proof that Atradius DSB takes no responsibility whatsoever to facilitate the participation of , or even inform the local population. The social and environmental damage as well as the absence of the possibility to hold l credit insurance agencies accountable, can hardly be called a beneficial situation for development .  The CSR-policy of Atradius itself though, calls for prevention of social and environmental problems when there is governmental support of Dutch enterprises abroad. Clearly, this doesn’t work.


This is no surprise knowing that within Atradius there are only two persons responsible for the CSR screening of a portfolio of 8,2 billion euros (2011). The problems in Brazil most probably occur in other places. As long as Atradius does not cooperate with local actors in the areas where they provide support to Dutch companies, the money from the ‘Revolving Fund’ will not be used in a way which is beneficial to development.


There is a yawning gap between the CSR policy that should create the basic conditions for investments which are beneficial for development and the reality of this kind of policy instruments and its financial structures. As long as no decisive solutions are taken, the minister should take the eraser and whiten this part of her charcoal sketch.


For the relation between export credits and debts see:

Eurodad website:

Here you'll find the research on Suape (Brazil):


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