Export-import Bank

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Export-import Bank


a bank that promotes the development of foreign trade.

In capitalist countries, export-import banks grant credits for ventures that private banks consider too risky. The first export-import banks appeared with the onset of the general crisis of capitalism, when economies and currencies became less stable and the struggle for markets intensified. This set of circumstances reflected the development of state monopoly capitalism in the area of credit and the effort by monopolies to pass on to the taxpayers the heightened credit risks that resulted from granting export credits for longer terms. Special export-import banks that belong to the state or receive state support exist in numerous countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Finland, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA (see). Their operations are closely linked with institutions that insure export credits.

In 1919 the Banque Française du Commerce Exterieur was founded in France (it received its present name in 1946). It grants and guarantees long-term (more than seven years) and shortterm credits and rediscounts medium-term (up to seven years) and long-term bills of exchange issued by commercial banks. The bank derives its resources from budgetary appropriations and the issuance of bonds in the loan capital market.

In the FRG the state-owned Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau specializes in the financing of exports of equipment to developing countries. Credits for exports to other countries are granted by private banks and by Ausfuhrkredit AG, which was founded in 1952 and includes 50 banks among its stockholders.

Great Britain, with its highly developed network of banks, does not have a special export-import bank: foreign trade is financed exclusively by commercial banks, including Commonwealth banks (formerly colonial banks). The commercial banks grant medium-term and long-term credits at favorable rates; the difference between market rates and these lower rates, as well as part of the credits granted, is covered by the government’s Export Credit Guarantee Department, which also insures export credits.

Italy has several institutions that specialize in medium-term and long-term credit. The state is the main stockholder in these institutions, the most important of which are the Instituto Mobiliare Italiano (IMI), Mediobank, and Mediocredito.

In Japan, the Export Bank was founded in 1950 and renamed the Export-Import Bank of Japan in 1952. Its resources are derived primarily from credits from the State Savings Fund and budgetary appropriations. The bank deals primarily in medium- and long-term credits for exports of equipment. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry is responsible for insuring export credits within the limits established annually by the Japanese government.

Export-import banks play an important role in helping the capital of imperialist countries penetrate the economies of other countries; they are also an important means by which monopolies expand into foreign markets.

In several socialist countries special banks finance foreign trade. These banks, which operate within the framework of the state monopoly on foreign trade, are the Bank for Foreign Trade of the USSR (Vneshtorg-bank) in the USSR, the Hungarian Foreign Trade Bank in Hungary, the Deutsche Aussenhandelsbank in the German Democratic Republic, and the Bank for Foreign Trade in the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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