On the 2nd of July 2015 the conference “Belarus and Germany: dialogue between export credit agencies on the issues related to trade and investment” was held in Berlin. During the meeting organised by ECAs of Germany and Belarus — Euler Hermes, PWC and Eximgarant of Belarus took part state authorities of Germany, the representatives from the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in Germany and major business and banking agents.
The workshop was opened with the introductory speech of Mr. Sergey Malinovskiy, Counsellor of the Belarusian Embassy in the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr. Malinovskiy put the participants into the picture of the current situation in Belarusian-German bilateral trade, reported about the cooperation in other areas. The Counsellor emphasized the commitment of the export credit agencies to cooperation noting the positive prospects for both countries. The participants were also welcomed by the introductory remarks of Mr. Thomas Baum, Head of Underwriting and Risk Management Department, PwC partner. In his speech Mr. Baum commented on the similarities of the economies of Germany and Belarus, such as export-orientedness and export promotion, which can be indicated by the presence of export credit agencies in the state system of the development institutes.
In further discussion Mr. Martin Hoffman, Regional Director of the Eastern Committee of German Economy, focused public’s attention on three key points concerning the development of international cooperation between the aforementioned states. First, the ratification of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union would open up new prospects for increasing trade turnover. Moreover, counter sanctions of the European Union and Russian Federation could become the determinant for the growth of mutual trade. At the same time Mr. Hoffman underlined the negative impact of the dynamics of the exchange rate of RUB during 2014–2015. Summarising his report, the rapporteur noted that the parties should actively seek means to increase bilateral trade turnover.
Gennadiy Mizkevich, General Director of Eximgarant of Belarus, made a detailed report on possible ways of interaction in the field of export and investment support. In his speech he described the current system of export support established in the Republic of Belarus focusing on the affordability of all the existing instruments for joint Belarusian-German enterprises. Besides, there were also presented the opportunities of one of the largest Belarusian insurers. Mr. Mizkevich also demonstrated the willingness to support the implementation of German investment projects in Belarus backed up by export risks cover. The prospects of the cooperation in the area of reinsurance and benefits from such a cooperation were also paid attention to.
During the Conference there were also heard the reports of the representatives of the German business community and banking agents (AKA Export Finance Bank, Landesbank Berlin). It is important to point out that both bankers and businessmen noted only positive payment discipline of their Belarusian counterparts.
Mr. Thomas Baum distinguished the prospects of future cooperation based on the results of the meeting. The globalization processes determine the lengthening of value chains and the complication of the forms of international relationships. That is why the additional impulse for development is the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union. All these trends suppose the distribution of international standards, which hence brings about both the necessities of development and improvement of the current risk assessment practices and the expediency of international networking.
At the conclusion of the workshop the signing ceremony of the tripartite Agreement on Cooperation between Eximgarant of Belarus, EULER HERMES and PricewaterhouseCoopers took place. The Agreement involves the creation of the legal basis for the development of cooperation between these companies aimed at supporting Belarus-German trade volume as well as conducting joint projects in third party countries. In addition, the document reflects companies’ readiness to collaborate in the information exchange process as well as the intention of Eximgarant of Belarus to adopt the best practices of its German partners.
EULER HERMES GERMANY is one of the largest export insurers in the world. The company was founded in 1917; it’s a subsidiary of EULER HERMES S. A. (Paris) and is the leader of an international group. EULER HERMES offers solutions for risk management in order to support clients’ businesses both on domestic and international markets. The company offers such services as credit insurance, transaction guarantee, risk-management and debt collection.
PricewaterhouseCoopers established in 1922 is owned by the partners. PwC provides investment insurance against political risks. PwC is the leading auditor and consulting agency in Germany, as well as is an independent member of the international PwC Network.
Since 1959 PwC and EULER HERMES are approved by the Ministry of Economy and Energy of Federal Republic of Germany to administer the Federal Government Scheme of Insurance of Foreign Investment. For that reason, these two companies formed the consortium, where PwC holds the leading position.