“The results from the first half of 2012 clearly show the commitment of our members to support global trade and investment in a volatile economic environment”, says Johan Schrijver, President of the Berne Union.
“There is strong demand from exporters to secure their international operations and employment says Peter Jones, Secretary General. “Credit insurers are meeting this demand and ensuring continued international trade flows against a backdrop of a global economic slowdown.”
The Berne Union Annual General Meeting 2012 was hosted 9-11 October in Stockholm by EKN, the Swedish export credit agency.
In the first half of 2012, members of the Berne Union have indemnified US$ 2 billion to exporters, protecting them from losses suffered due to buyer defaults in all regions of the world.
For insurance of trade transactions with payment terms of typically 30 to 90 days, members increased levels of support in the first half of 2012, maintaining a level matching the pre-crisis levels. Credit insurance capacity remains steady at just over US$ 900 billion at the end of the first half 2012, a level similar to pre-crisis.
In the field of insurance for export transactions on payment terms of up to 15 years, the volume of business supported reached an all-time high of US$ 589 billion at the end of June 2012, demonstrating sustained demand for risk mitigation products for longer term transactions.
For insurance of foreign direct investment, the new business insured reached US$47 billion in the first half of 2012, 10% ahead of the same period last year.
“Despite these positive results, members continue to express serious concerns about the ability of banks to fund trade and investment given the proposed regulatory changes and the on-going funding challenges that banks are facing”, says Johan Schrijver. “Any further deterioration in bank capacity for trade and export finance could have serious consequences for global trade and economic recovery.”
With the insurance capacity offered, Berne Union members are confident to support at least the same volumes of export trade and investment as last year. In 2011, they insured US$ 1.8 trillion of international trade and investments, or more than 10% of world exports.
The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) was admitted as the 50th member of the Berne Union.
ATI is a multilateral trade and investment insurance institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and is owned by a number of African member countries, as well as public and private sector organisations, including two members of the Berne Union.
ATI is an important addition to the Berne Union membership as members continue to report an increased demand to support trade flows and infrastructure projects on the African continent.
Election of Officers
Johan Schrijver, Managing Director of ATRADIUS Dutch State Business (Netherlands), was re-elected as the President of the Berne Union.
Marcelo Franco, Executive Vice President of Medium and Long Term Business (State Guarantees) of SBCE (Brazil) was elected as the incoming Vice President of the Berne Union.
Ralph Lai, HKEC (Hong Kong) and Khemais El-Gazzah, ICIEC (Saudi Arabia) were elected as the incoming Chair and Vice Chair of the Short Term Committee.
Ken Tinsley, US EXIMBANK (USA) and Hans-Joachim Pflocksch, EULER HERMES Kreditversicherungs-AG (Germany) were re-elected as Chair and Vice Chair of the Medium/Long Term Committee.
John Hegeman, AIG (USA) and Vinco David, ATRADIUS (the Netherlands) were elected as the incoming Chair and Vice Chair of the Investment Insurance Committee.