Oslo-headquartered Export Finance Norway (Eksfin.no), the result of a merger between former government agencies GIEK and Export Credit Norway, has opened its doors and is fully operational from 1 July 2021.
The merger of the two predecessor agencies forms part of a larger redesign by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries of the government apparatus around export promotion and export credit financing. The improvements are designed to increase the quality and efficiency of services and make the system easier to navigate for end users.
“We want to make official export financing more accessible, more efficient and easier to understand. The merger will benefit new and existing users in their internationalisation efforts. This is important as activity increases after the pandemic,” said Minister of Trade Iselin Nybø.
“There are only advantages to this merger. Exporters and their customers can now partner a simpler and more accessible organisation while streamlining the export credit process also benefits the Norwegian state,” said incoming Eskfin CEO Tone Lunde Bakker.
The entire range of products and services available previously from GIEK and Export Credit Norway remain on offer, and the Norwegian government will continue to back Eskfin’s AAA-rated guarantees. “Crucially, combining the administration of both loans and guarantees means customers, banks and financial institutions will co-operate with just one state-run organization, instead of two,” said Bakker.
In 2020, Eksfin’s predecessors issued, respectively, NOK 15Bn (€1.5Bn) in risk capacity through state guarantees and 18 loan transactions worth NOK 3Bn in total. Eksfin will continue their focus on key international markets including Energy (hydropower, offshore wind and wind power, battery and solar power technologies, and offshore oil and gas); Maritime (shipyards including subcontractors); Seafood (aquaculture and fishing technology); Finance (trade finance and insurance); and Mainland Industries (energy-intensive industries including defence and high-end manufacturing).
The Norwegian government is further strengthening the export-credit financing system with the creation of a dedicated Export Strategy Council to be based in Ålesund in Møre og Romsdal county – a region with a long tradition and strong cluster of export-oriented companies. The council will work closely with industry, key national research funding and advisory organs and the Foreign Ministry to identify, prioritise and develop strategic export initiatives targeting new and fast-growing markets worldwide.