News story | Date: 02/09/2020
In order to make it easier for the business community, the Norwegian government is merging The Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (Garantiinstituttet for eksportkreditt (GIEK)) and Export Credit Norway.
At the end of 2019, GIEK had guarantee liabilities for export of NOK 82 billion, while Export Credit Norway had a lending balance of NOK 65 billion. The two export credit agencies participate in many of the same projects. At the end of 2019, 72 percent of Export Credit Norway's loans were guaranteed by GIEK.
–The merger will make it easier for the business community to understand and navigate in the official export credit system. It will benefit those who already are familiar with the system as well as first-time users. This is positive as the business community is increasing activity after the coronavirus crisis, said the Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø.
– The purpose of these governmental instruments is to trigger Norwegian exports. We are now working on an Export Action Plan where the government will propose measures to improve how the public support system assist the business community with internationalization. The merger is one of these measures, said Ms Nybø.
The two organizations will be transferred to a new export credit agency by July 1st 2021, which will be established as a government agency with a board. The merger will also entail a more efficient export credit system. The establishment of a new agency depends on the Parliament's (Stortinget) resolution on budget ceilings.
Follow-up on the comprehensive review of the Norwegian public support system
The government's decision is an outcome of the comprehensive review of the Norwegian public support system, which recommended a merger of the two agencies for increased quality, efficiency and to make it easier to navigate for the business community.
– The proposal of a merger has been largely supported and it has been highly requested to maintain the two organizations' offers of export credits. The feedback from the business community is that the official export credit system is of great importance, and therefore I'm happy to confirm that we will continue today's schemes and offer of export credits in the new agency, said Ms Nybø.
An interim board has been appointed to prepare the merger. The board will constitute of chairman Morten Støver, Else Bugge Fougner, Siri Hatlen, Karin Bing Orgland and John G. Bernander. In addition, the employees in GIEK and Export Credit Norway are invited to elect one representative each that will participate in the interim board.
- The schemes and offers of export credits that is managed by GIEK and Export Credit Norway will be transferred to the new agency.
- The official export credit system will continue to be a supplement to commercial financing, and the new agency will continue to co-finance with others on its loans and/or guarantees.
- Schemes that do not promote exports will also be continued, such as the building loan guarantee scheme and the power purchase guarantee scheme.
- The schemes will continue to be financed by the government and be recorded in the central government balance sheet, and the Norwegian state will continue to be responsible for all commitments and liabilities that are incurred and will incur under the schemes.
- The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has confirmed that the merger does not affect their previous conclusion that the pricing mechanism for market loans does not constitute state aid, see The Comfort Letter from ESA.
- The merger will be conducted as a transfer of undertakings to the new government agency.