The EAPB organized a one day workshop on export finance at the premises of SFIL in Paris on 1 December 2016. The agenda of the workshop was divided into two parts. The morning session consisted of presentations from the representatives of Coface, DG Competition of the European Commission and the OECD. The afternoon session was dedicated to sharing good practices and experience among a number of EAPB member institutions, whose representatives presented and discussed their activities with other participants of the workshop. The lively discussions and exchange of experience contributed to the high informative value delivered to the participants.

The workshop was opened by EAPB President Mr. Philippe Mills. He informed the participants about the importance of foreign trade in the French economy and about the framework for public support for exports in the country. Subsequently, the first guest speaker on the regulatory topics, Mr. David Drysdale from the OECD, delivered a presentation on the OECD arrangement on officially supported export credits. This arrangement prevents governments from running a harmful subsidy competition. In result, it saves costs to the national budgets while increasing the efficiency of the trade policies. The OECD rules also enforce transparency and tackle corruption.

The following speaker, Mr. Kenny Hanssen from DG Competition, tailored his presentation on export credits in the context of the EU state aid law to the perspective of the national promotional banks. Some practical examples of the Commission’s decisions on state aid were discussed. The third speaker of the morning session was Ms. Maëlia Dufour from COFACE. COFACE is contracted by the French government to provide export credit insurance to the French exporters. She discussed with the participants the French export support framework as well as practical application of the OECD rules.

The first speaker of the afternoon session was Mr. Zoltán Dercze from the EXIM Bank in Hungary. The EXIM Bank is fully owned by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr. Dercze presented the EXIM’s products the Hungarian companies can benefit from, export financing and refinancing products in particular. The local and foreign offices of EXIM have been contributing to the strong presence of Hungarian exporters in the post-Soviet and the Balkans markets, but increasingly have also been facilitating the penetration in new emerging markets in Africa and South-East Asia.

Mr. Alic´ Ante from HBOR presented the four pillars of the bank’s services to the Croatian exporters – pre- and post- shipment financing, bank guarantees and the export credit insurance. The HBOR is particularly involved in the large national ship-building industry and helps facilitating access mainly to the post-Soviet markets. A discussion concerning state aid issues followed.

The Slovenian SID Bank was represented by Mr. Marko Kirn, who presented the local support for exporters. His presentation inspired a discussion on the export insurance markets. The last two presenters included the representatives from BPIfrance and SFIL from France. Mr. Pedro Novo further elaborated on the commitment of BPIfrance to promote entrepreneurship and internationalization of the French economy, lags behind in terms of the share of export on the GDP to most other EU countries. Besides the traditional financial products, BPIfrance supports the French entrepreneurs by providing its business development expertise. The bank is represented by many local offices in the whole country.

The last speaker, Mr. Pierre-Marie Debreuille discussed the SFIL’s main product in this area – export refinancing via commercial banks. SFIL supports the traditionally strong French industrial sectors, including defense, ship- and aircraft building, and nuclear energy.

The session was wrapped up by the EAPB Secretary-General Marcel Roy. The intensive discussions proved the great interest of our members in this topic, which will be addressed in the future.  

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