New and less developed markets offer great opportunities for Austrian companies. To make it easier to take advantage of these opportunities OeKB also offers soft loans for certain countries within the framework of the export financing scheme (EFS), in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF). These development aid loans are very affordable thanks to official Austrian public sector support. Furthermore, they are intended to support the sustainable development of the target country.
You are an Austrian company and want to export your products or services to a developing or emerging country. Your project is commercially non-viable, improves the infrastructure in the recipient country, and definitely makes developmental sense. Your project comes under, for example, the category of health, water, education or disaster control.
Your potential contractor is a public institution in a developing or emerging market and can only afford the project with favourable financing conditions. The project is not only interesting for you because it represents a business opportunity in its own right, but also as it could lead to future commercial transactions.
Our offer: Affordable financing conditions with the help of a soft loan
With soft loan financing, projects like this are possible. A soft loan is an earmarked credit which, thanks to a low interest rate, long repayment term and grace period, is considerably cheaper than credit on market terms. This is made possible with the support of public funding.
Soft loans are processed as part of the export financing scheme. The basis for the refinancing is an export guarantee from the Republic of Austria. Your bank makes it possible for the contractual partner abroad to access this affordable credit, granted to pay for the Austrian export.
Soft loan financing is regulated internationally by the OECD arrangement . The Arrangement stipulates a concessionality level of at least 35%.
For soft loan financing in the LDC - Least Developed Countries according to the UN classification, the concessionality level must be at least 50%.
In addition, for soft loan recipient countries that are subject to the “Sustainable Lending Initiative” the concessionality level has to meet the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Soft loans in Austria
In Austria, soft loans are given exclusively in euros. We adjust the conditions once a year. Currently, there are two kinds of soft loan, depending - on a case by case basis - on the recipient country and the project:
- Pre-mixed credit
- Mixed credit
Pre-mixed credit is characterised by a low interest rate, a long repayment term and a grace period.
Mixed credit is a financing package consisting of a non-repayable grant (capital grant) from the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and soft loan credit. Capital grants can only be offered on a case by case basis in accordance with the budgetary framework.
Requirements for soft loan financing
If you wish to make use of soft loan financing, your company and your project must fulfil the following conditions:
- You have experience in foreign markets: your company has already realised comparable projects from within Austria without soft loan financing, and will continue to do so.
- Your company has a well-established base in Austria.
- Your company has employees with specialist know-how in Austria, which they are continually developing.
- Your project is commercially non-viable, i.e. cannot cover the ongoing operating costs or the financing costs with the revenue generated.
- Your project is conducive to sustainable development in the recipient country.
At least half “Made in Austria”
Soft loan financing is tied to Austrian deliveries and services. The foreign share - which includes third country supplies and local costs - may not exceed 50% of the contract value. Or, to put it another way, at least half of the deliveries and services have to come from Austria and increase the Austrian added value.
If your business venture predominantly comprises services that are to be financed with a soft loan, additional requirements apply. For further information, please contact our Service Centre.
Stipulated recipient countries
The provisions of the OECD Arrangement and the Austrian soft loan policy determine which countries are classified as eligible for soft loans in Austria.
In general, countries are eligible for soft loans if:
- Their per capita income does not exceed the current limit of 4,465 US dollars - as stipulated by the OECD Arrangement.
- The country has an open mid-term to long-term Austrian guarantee policy.
- They are of particular interest for Austria.
This table lists all countries for which a soft loan is currently possible. If there are framework agreements, you can download these here as a PDF.
However, the group of countries may change at any time. Therefore, please get in contact with the OeKB Soft Loans Service Centre at an early stage in the business preparation or the contract negotiations. When you contact us, you can also inquire about the possible transaction volumes for the individual recipient countries.
Bangladesh (CAT 5, LDC)
Nepal (CAT 6, LDC)
|Bolivia (CAT 6)
Honduras (CAT 5, IMF)
Angola (CAT 6, LDC)
|Middle East/North Africa||
Egypt (CAT 6)
Cabo Verde (CAT 6, IMF/WB)
*) Special conditions apply for the countries in this region. If you are interested, please contact the OeKB Soft Loans Service Centre.
You can find information on the OECD classifications on our Country information page.
Your path to a soft loan: Talk to us!
As soon as you initiate a project that can potentially be supported by a soft loan to your contractual partner, please get in contact with us. We will be happy to advise you and guide you through the application procedure.
In the case of direct negotiations, the applications have to be made at the beginning of the contract negotiations. For project allocations via tender, certain deadlines must be observed.
If you, as an Austrian exporter, wish to take part in a tender as part of a tendering procedure, you must notify us of your intent at least 40 banking days before the “bid closing date”. For tenders with a tender submission period of less than 40 banking days, you have to notify us within the first five banking days of the tender submission period. To do so, please fill in the notification form and the declaration of consent and send both before the given deadline to the OeKB Soft Loan Service Centre by post or by email.
What happens to your application?
- We process your application and submit it to the bodies responsible.
- After your application has been approved, the OECD is informed of the key data of your project (OECD notification).
- After a waiting period of 30 working days (OECD notification), you receive a preliminary commitment for the export guarantee and the financing.
- You and your bank conclude your contracts with the contractual partners, whereupon the preliminary commitment is converted into a valid guarantee and financing.
As soon as we have assessed whether your project is suitable for soft loan financing in general and you have decided you would like to make an application, we ask you to provide us with detailed information by filling out a standardised questionnaire so that we can evaluate the proposed project.
A simplified questionnaire is provided for so-called de-minimis projects, i.e. those with a contract value of under two million in special drawing rights (SDRs).
If required, please request the questionnaires via email@example.com.
Application for export guarantee and financing
Together with your bank, you make an application for the G1G3 export guarantee, which gurantees the soft loan. The refinancing application is made by your bank, which has all the necessary forms. You can find out which additional forms you need at your bank or at our Service Centre.
Conveniently apply for export guarantees online
You can use my.oekb to apply for and manage export guarantees online. If you already have access to my.oekb, you only need to apply for the online export guarantees service. If you do not have access yet, simply register online here: Online registration Export Services
If you are interested in a soft loan, please contact us as early as possible. This enables us to provide you with the best possible advice and our expertise throughout your project.
Your Bank as a partner
Ask your bank about soft loan financing!