Publication / 5 January 2010

Export Credit Debt. How ECA support to corporations indebts the world's poor.

This paper highlights the fairly hidden role of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in the debt problems of many developing countries. It explains how export credit debt comes about, and how ECAs are instrumental in turning the private risks of corporations into debt for developing countries.

It clarifies how the cancellation of export credit debt is written off with Official Development Assistance (ODA) money. As most ECA supported activities never served development purposes - the contrary is often the case - this paper questions the justice of using ODA to support export credit debt cancellation.

The paper also looks at ECAs' claim that they comply with the self-imposed requirement to financially break even in the long run. It concludes with suggestions about how ECAs should change, in order to improve and limit their operations and become coherent with international efforts to reduce poverty through sustainable development.

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