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Federal guarantee instruments support exporters and investors in times of change
The Russian war of aggression also affects German exporting companies. High energy prices, global competition in uncertain conditions, and the climate crisis pose particular challenges.
Even in these difficult conditions, the foreign trade and investment promotion instruments of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action have proven to be highly effective. They support exporters and investors on their way abroad and enable export and investment projects to be financed.
Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action: "The past year has shown that we have to become less dependent on individual countries. This applies to the purchase of raw materials as well as to the supply of upstream products and product sales. Diversification and resilience are more important now than ever. We have therefore already made first adjustments in this direction. The instruments for promoting foreign trade and investment are currently being gradually reformed with the aim of creating incentives for diversification in companies' investment decisions and giving environmental, climate and social standards significantly more weight in foreign trade and investment."
Export credit guarantees
In 2022, the Federal Government backed deliveries and services amounting to €14.9 billion (2021: €20.2 billion) with export credit guarantees. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and its repercussions have impacted the hedging business, as have the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global slowdown in economic momentum.
In terms of new guarantees, Turkey took first place with €2.2 billion. The Federation again covered numerous Turkish wind energy projects. Brazil (€1.4 billion) and China (€1.0 billion) followed in second and third place.
Coverage amounting to €144 million was provided for Ukraine. The transactions in question support the agricultural sector, with a particular focus on supporting the grain harvest.
As in previous years, in 2022 it was in particular the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that made use of the federal export credit guarantees. In order to maintain the international competitiveness of SMEs, the Federal Government has agreed to introduce a special guarantee with a simplified bank credit check (forfaiting guarantee) this year. It makes it easier for SMEs to finance small-volume transactions (small tickets) and improves the liquidity situation of the companies.
In 2022, the Federal Government protected €2.3 billion worth of foreign investments by German companies against political risks (2021: €2.6 billion). In an international environment characterised by political uncertainty, a growing number of investors is using the funding instrument to open up foreign markets. In 2022, for example, around half of the guarantee holders received a guarantee for the first time, with almost every second approved application being made by a small and medium-sized company.
Guarantees for Russia and Belarus have not been provided since 24 February 2022. In 2022 investment guarantees were given to Ukraine on the basis of individual decisions.
In 2022, the range of target markets for German investors increased significantly (16 compared to 11 in 2021). A further development of investment guarantees will support the diversification of the German economy even more in the future – for example through improved guarantee conditions for promising target markets that have so far not been in demand.
Part of the readjustment is a moderate but targeted tightening of the guarantee conditions in countries where there has been an excessive concentration of covered investment projects. In addition, the total volume of guarantee per company and target country is limited.
Guarantees for untied financial loans
Guarantees for untied financial loans (UFK guarantees) are a funding instrument that has been used less in the past and that came to the fore last year. The guarantees for untied financial loans contribute to the supply of raw materials in Germany as well as to energy security and the transformation of the economy. The volume of untied loan guarantees last year was €4.6 billion (2021: no coverage). A sizable project in this context involved securing the financing of a battery cell factory in Hungary.
The 2022 annual reports on export credit guarantees, including untied financial loans and investment guarantees of the Federal Republic of Germany will be published on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in the spring. Further information on respective export credit and investment guarantees can be found at www.agaportal.de and www.investitionsgarantien.de.