Since the first signs of the pandemic in early 2020, GTR has closely followed the ways in which the export finance market has responded and adapted. Our reporting has covered the impact on transaction flows and project activity levels, as well as the actions taken by lenders and export credit agencies (ECAs) around the world to help address a spike in demand for financial support.

Over the last year, the focus of our coverage of the export finance has shifted somewhat.

A significant number of our stories have centred on the development of green strategies, many of which are linked to the energy transition and the targets that governments, financial institutions and ECAs have set for reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy developments in this space was the September release of an independent report on the state of sustainability in the export finance industry, produced by an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) working group. The report provides a baseline of the industry’s current practices and priorities regarding sustainable export finance, and sets out detailed policy and product recommendations that the ICC hopes will boost the flow of such financing.

One of the key features in this Q4 publication is a roundtable discussion that brings together some of the working group participants, including the report’s co-authors, to review the findings and discuss the export finance sector’s next steps to more proactively supporting sustainable exports and projects.

We continue this theme elsewhere in this issue, gathering the thoughts of ECAs on how the energy transition is impacting their sustainability objectives, the changes in demand they face, and where they see the future of their support.

We also take a look at the factors driving Turkey’s record-breaking surge in exports and the ways banks are ramping up their provision of sustainable finance activities; we analyse the G7’s ‘Build Back Better World’ infrastructure plan, which aims to inject capital into emerging market projects with an environmental, social and governance focus, and which the US has billed as a means for “strategic competition with China”; and we present the findings of a roundtable discussion that gathered trade and export finance leaders in the Nordic region to examine major trends in funding demand, including the industry-defining effects of the transition to renewable energy.