Once a year, representatives of export credit and investment insurance meet at the Annual General Meeting of the Berne Union (BU) to talk about their business development and current challenges. 77 financial institutions participated in the four-day meeting, which took place in Rwanda's capital Kigali this year. In addition to BU members such as OeKB, African and international interest groups were also represented.

Sub-Saharan Africa was the focus of discussions

Sub-Saharan Africa is a region of growing importance for export credit insurance. Collectively, in the first half of 2022, Berne Union (BU) Members provided new commitments totalling USD 44 billion in Sub Saharan African countries. At the same time, Sub-Saharan Africa saw the highest level of new cover of political risk insurance in H1 2022 since 2017 – a sign of increased risk perception among investors. This means that attracting long-term finance is becoming more difficult.

The major challenges for the future is creating bankable projects that attract international capital. This is vital to closing financing gaps for essential infrastructure. Export credit insurance is a flexible derisking tool which can help catalyse much-needed finance from both public and private sources. BU launched a working group to build awareness on these topics and promote collaboration among industry stakeholders on projects relating to the region.

Highlights from BU Industry Data for H1 2022

BU Data in the first half of 2022 shows solid signs of continuing post-pandemic recovery: 

  • Short term business increased a further 10% year on year, and is now 13% higher than pre-pandemic.
  • Medium/Longterm business remains 10% lower than 2019 levels overall, despite further growth this period.
  • New business remains concentrated in upper and middle-income countries in Europe, Latin America and North America.
  • Infrastructure and manufacturing sectors had a strong 6 months with +75% growth year on year, while Renewable Energy recorded its highest ever value of new commitments for a half year period (USD 5.3 bn).
  • BU members paid USD 3.9 bn in claims in H1 2022 – 10% lower than in the first half of 2021 with decreases for both ST and MLT business lines.