Bunte Container vor einem blauen Himmel symbolisieren Export und Hermesdeckungen des Bundes; Quelle: Fotolia.com/gui yong nia

© Fotolia.com/gui yong nia

The federal government supports the activities abroad of German companies and banks in many different ways. It thus also contributes to the economic and political stabilisation in the countries of destination. At the same time, the economic development in Germany is strengthened.

The key support instruments include export credit guarantees and investment guarantees. Export credit guarantees protect German exporters and banks against the risks of unpaid claims and asset losses for economic and political reasons. Investment guarantees protect investors against political risks.

As regards export credit guarantees ('Hermes insurance'), the federal government in 2016 provided insurance for supplies and services of German exporters worth €20.6 billion. The majority of the applicants for federal export credit guarantees are small and medium-sized enterprises. More than 80% of the approved export credit guarantees covered exports of goods and services to emerging and developing economies. As to the countries for which Hermes guarantees were provided, Russia ranked first at €3.8 billion, followed by Egypt at €3.3 billion and the United States at €2.0 billion. In 2016, the export credit guarantees achieved an extraordinarily high annual surplus of €1,184 million, all of which accrued to the federal budget. This was due to special factors including debt restructuring and the repayment of old debts.

In 2016, the federal government significantly expanded the insurance possibilities for several countries. After the conclusion of the nuclear deal with Iran, it is again possible to cover transactions with Iran with Hermes guarantees. The existing Hermes insurance possibilities for business with Russia have been maintained in spite of the continuing sanctions.

As regards investment guarantees in 2016, the federal government provided guarantees totalling €4.3 billion for 72 projects in 22 countries. The most important host country was Russia, followed by China, India, Turkey and Indonesia. But the federal government also provided guarantees for projects in less frequent investment destinations, such as Iran, Honduras and Morocco. In 2016, small and medium-sized enterprises again benefited from this instrument to promote foreign trade and investment, some of them for the first time.

The 2016 annual reports on export credit guarantees and investment guarantees containing further details are currently being drawn up and will be published on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in spring 2017. For more information about export credit guarantees and investment guarantees, please visit www.agaportal.de.