The Berne Union and Prague Club have agreed to create a new global association for export credit and investment insurers. The decision was taken at the associations’ spring meeting this week in Warsaw, where members voted to fully integrate the Prague Club into the Berne Union.

The new integrated Berne Union will have 81 members from 73 countries. “A new Prague Club Committee will complement the existing Berne Union specialist committees, while retaining the unique identity of the Prague Club,” reads a statement issued by the Berne Union.

The Berne Union’s president, Topi Vesteri says that the decision “contributes to a much closer framework among experts and a stronger voice for our products globally”.

The Prague Club’s chair, Chris Chapman, adds: “The Prague Club is very happy to formalise this integration, which supports the information sharing and development objectives of Prague Club members, as well as acknowledges the mutual benefits that all members can offer as a result of their global representation and diverse market knowledge and experiences.”

The Prague Club was started in 1993 by the Berne Union with funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The group was named after the city where its inaugural meeting was held, carrying in the tradition begun by the Berne Union.

It was set up to support members in developing their export credit and investment insurance schemes and facilities, and provided this support by hosting regular technical discussions, as well as by facilitating ad hoc information exchanges.

Prague Club members were initially Central and Eastern European agencies, but membership later expanded to include members from Asia and Africa.