No. 52. FINANCING AND INSURANCE OF EXPORT CREDITS (in Greek)

Published in REPORTS

C.B. Efstratoglou. 2007. | ISBN: 978-960-341-074-4

 

In the framework of the «Globalization» which characterizes the World Economy today, the necessary prerequisite for the survival and the development of a small and open economy like the Greek one is the effective increase of its “extroversion”.


By the term «extroversion» we mean, not only the promotion of Greek exports of goods and services, but also the construction works abroad undertaken by Greek construction companies, as well as the direct foreign investments undertaken by Greek investors.


Although total Greek exports have shown a rather important increasing trend over the last 3 years, we can say that Greece still lags behind to a great extend in comparison with other small countries of the EU., like Portugal and Ireland, as regards the absolute amount of total exports, as well as the ratio indicating total exports as a percentage of GDP.


Since the early 90’s, when the direct export subsidies and the right of the Greek Government to apply a free foreign exchange policy had been abolished, the main means left to the Greek Government to promote Greece’s “extroversion” were: i) the increase of productivity and competitiveness of the Greek Economy through investments in infrastructure and industry, as well as the implementation of structural changes in the private and public sectors, and ii) the enhancement of the «Institutional-Organizational Framework» supporting Greece’s export sector, and more generally, promoting Greece’s «extroversion».


The main aim of the present study is the examination and analysis of the financing and insurance of the short-term and medium-long term export credits, i.e. the two main factors constituting the «Institutional-Organizational Framework» supporting Greece’s and every other country’s «extroversion».


The study examines and analyses the financing and insurance of export credits taking into account the relevant international experience and practice, it describes the existing situation in Greece in comparison with the international one and points out Greece’s main problems and weaknesses especially in the export credit insurance sector, and finally, it proposes certain policy measures aiming at the enhancement of Greece’s export credit insurance sector, mainly by enhancing the services offered by the «Export Credit Insurance Organization» of Greece (ECIO), as well as the supervising Ministry of Economy & Finance.


In the framework of the analysis, the importance of the financing and insurance of export credits is emphasized as the main driving force for the development of the world trade, especially among developed and developing countries.


The study starts by explaining the basic conceptions and definitions regarding the financing and insurance of export credits, and then deals with the financing of export credits by citing certain data indicating the granting of short-term and medium-long term export credits from the developed OECD countries to developing countries all over the world. The study refers to the existing private and public bodies and institutions which operate in OECD countries and deal with the financing of export credits. It also refers to the existing situation in Greece and describes the relevant problems and weaknesses.


Having dealt with the financing of export credits, the study refers to the insurance of export credits by citing aggregate data for the period 2000-2005 concerning the insured short-term and medium-long term export credits, as well as direct foreign investments by the 52 Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) which are members of the «International Union of Credit & Investment Insurers». The study examines and analyses the 3 types of legal, institutional and organizational forms under which Export Credit Agencies operate in 20 EU countries. The Greek ECA is called «Export Credit Insurance Organization» (ECIO).


The study continues by examining and analyzing the existing situation regarding the supply and demand of export credit insurance services in Greece. It also refers to ECIO’s development over the period 1994-2005, as well as its position in the Greek Market of export credit insurance. Having taken into account the above analysis, the study refers to the main problems and weaknesses with regard to ECIO and the competent Services of the supervising Ministry of Economy & Finance, while it proposes certain policy measures aiming at the enhancement of the services offered by ECIO and the supervising Ministry, which are expected to contribute to the enhancement of Greece’s «extroversion».


For the sake of completeness, the study shortly describes the main Agreements, Rules, as well as the permanent Institutional Bodies (Working Groups) which are in force in the framework of the EU, the OECD and the WTO countries with regard to the financing and insurance of the medium-long term export credits (over 2 years) which are «officially supported».


Finally, having taken into account the analysis of the whole study, some conclusions are cited, first in general and then with regard to Greece. After the conclusions, certain policy measures are proposed aiming at the enhancement of the export credit insurance services offered by ECIO and the supervising Ministry of Economy & Finance, mainly through their harmonization with the EU Council’s Decisions and Directives, as well as the practices applied by other EU ECAs. In the end of the study 8 Annexes are cited which are useful as complements to the analysis of the whole study.