Updated 3rd May 2017
To facilitate and encourage South African export trade by underwriting export credit loans and investments outside South Africa, which will help contractors win international capital goods and services contracts.
To be leaders in the medium and long-term export credit and investment insurance business, focusing on project finance underwriting, customer needs, and prudent portfolio and risk management.
To provide export credit and investment insurance solutions in support of South African Capital goods and services by applying best practice risk management principles.
The ECICʼs role in South Africa
The ECIC provides insurance that enables South African exporters to offer their services and products on the international market, with a particular focus on emerging markets in Africa that are considered too risky for conventional insurers. Its overarching goal – and its mandate from the South African government as its sole shareholder – is to make South African exporters attractive to international buyers to attract foreign income, stimulate local economic growth and create local jobs.
Africa is rich in natural wealth which includes arable land, minerals and hydropower potential. This has been the bedrock of the continent’s economy and continues to represent a significant development opportunity for its people. Statistics show that natural resources account for nearly 80% of total exports and around 42% of government revenues. While in the extractives sector for example, it has been estimated that the region accounts for around 30% of all global mineral reserves. According to the World Bank, trade facilitation can provide important opportunities for Africa. This pertains to increasing the benefits from open trade, and contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction. However, most African countries face considerable challenges to achieving more open trade. One reason for this is that the costs of trading remain high, which prevents potential African exporters from competing in both global and regional markets.
Realising this, policymakers have started paying more attention to addressing trade discouraging non-tariff barriers. The Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) of South Africa – established in July 2001 – is one of the initiatives that support the exportation of South African goods and services to drive domestic job creation contribute to fixed capital formation and GDP and generate fiscal revenue for the country. Essentially, the ECIC acts as an ‘insurer of last resort’ by providing insurance for export transactions that will otherwise not take place because commercial lenders are either unable or unwilling to accept the risks in medium-term and long-term transactions. These are the so-called unmarketable risks. The organisation’s vision is clear: to commit to sustainable business growth through innovative products, operational excellence, business development and strategic partnerships.