Export credit agencies (ECAs) have become prevalent around the world. As international trade has increased, the number of government and quasigovernmental agencies that facilitate the expansion of trade finance has increased greatly. At the present time, ECAs of some type can be found in as many as seventy-three nations, both industrialized and developing. At least forty-eight ECAs operate in thirty-five countries, all of which are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). About half of all export trade credit support rendered by ECAs worldwide is extended by ECAs in the seven largest industrial nations, the socalled Group of Seven (G-7) nations, comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Details of these organizations can be found in various editions of the World's Principal Export Credit Insurance Systems, published by the International Export Credits Institute in New York. This chapter is devoted to a discussion of those ECAs found in a representative group of these nations: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, and United Kingdom.
Most of these are government agencies. Some are quasigovernmental institutions or private firms. The major export finance institution in Germany is Hermes, a private insurance company, which acts as an agent for the government. Some of the activities of the ECA that handles trade finance in Great Britain have been privatized in recent years. See Appendix 2 for a listing of the ECAs located in OECD countries. Other