Lars Kolte of Denmark’s Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF) has been appointed the new president of the Berne Union, succeeding Hans Janus of Euler Hermes. Kolte joined EKF as managing director in 1992. Previously, he worked for the European Commission, a commercial bank and the Danish central bank.

Hidehiro Konno of Japan’s Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (Nexi) will take over from Piper Starr of US Ex-Im Bank in the role of vice-president.

Konno was vice-minister for international affairs at the ministry of economy, trade and industry before being appointed as chairman and CEO of Nexi in 2003.

Discussions held at the recent Berne Union AGM focused on high-level professional and technical points including the steel and auto sectors, local currency finance, terrorism cover, corporate risks, portfolio management, Basel II and Berne Union advocacy.

External guests at the meeting included representatives from World Bank and speakers included representatives from the European Central Bank, EU, Kiel Institute of World Economics, German Institute for Middle East Studies and German Association of the Automotive Industry.

Thai Ex-Im Bank was accepted as a full member of the union after its two-year observer period, bringing the total number of members to 52.