Angus Armour, CEO and managing director of the Australian government’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), has been appointed as the new president of the Berne Union.

Armour takes over the position from Hidehiro Konno, chairman and CEO of Japan’s Nexi. This is the first time that an Australian has been appointed to the role since 1975.

Australian trade minister Simon Crean welcomed Armour’s appointment: “This decision shows Australia’s strong reputation in finance and trade finance in particular and will give us a stronger voice in a range of multilateral fora,” he said.

“The appointment recognises Armour’s experience and EFIC’s expertise in trade finance, which extends to complex cross-border transactions involving numerous financiers from the public and private sectors,” Crean said.

The position of Berne Union president was last held by an Australian in 1975 when Geoff Hawley, then managing director of EFIC, held the post.

With more than 70 members representing over 60 countries in the Berne Union and the Prague Club, the Berne Union represents export credit agencies that together finance approximately 10% of world trade. All members share information on the issues and challenges faced – discussing risk assessment and effective management strategies to support the flow of trade. The Berne Union also works closely with the IMF, World Bank, OECD and International Finance Corporation to shape international finance and trade policy.