ECGD, the UK export credit agency, today launched a public consultation on proposals to revise its Business Principles.
Developments since the Business Principles were introduced in 2000 have made them increasingly outdated. These include the adoption by the OECD of agreements which cover anti-bribery measures, sustainable lending and the environmental and social impacts of exports supported by member export credit agencies, as well as the introduction of information legislation (Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations) and the Government code of conduct on public consultations.
The proposed new Business Principles are focussed on three key areas: serving exporters, ethical considerations and disclosure and consultation. The Government also proposes that in future ECGD will only operate ethical policies which are consistent with the relevant OECD agreements, which have been agreed multilaterally in the OECD.
New guidelines have been produced that will assist exporters to explain how ECGD decides to support exports.
Lord Davies of Abersoch, UK Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business said:
"These changes are overdue and recognise that ECGD should operate policies in future which have been agreed internationally, to allow British exporters to compete on a level playing field. ECGD will continue to lead efforts to improve international agreements but it should no longer unilaterally apply policies that British exporters' competitors in other countries do not face."
"It was always recognised that the Business Principles would need updating to reflect changing circumstances. A lot has changed in the last nine years, and it is now right to reflect those changes in a new set of Business Principles."
The consultation is available at http://www.ecgd.gov.uk/index/public-information/public-consultation.htm, and responses must be sent to email@example.com by 3 March 2010.
Notes to editors
ECGD, the Export Credits Guarantee Department, is the UK export credit agency. ECGD works with exporters, project sponsors, banks and buyers to help UK exporters to trade with confidence, by providing insurance against non-payment risks and guarantees for bank loans to buyers of UK goods. It also provides insurance against political risks to UK investors in overseas markets. Details of ECGD's products and service are available at www.ecgd.gov.uk.
For more details contact Steve Roberts-Mee on 020 7512 7319 or 07990 887852
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department