German foreign trade promotion instruments have proven their worth. However, competitors from third countries are increasingly competing with political support and comprehensive financing offers, particularly in tenders for large-volume foreign projects. This creates competitive disadvantages for German providers.
The German government's 2016 strategy paper "New impetus for international competition for major strategic projects - improving opportunities for Germany" (PDF, DE) contains key points that include
- coordinate the political support of projects in the strategic interest of the Federal Republic of Germany in a more targeted manner
- utilise the existing foreign trade promotion instruments in a more targeted manner and supplement them in individual cases, and
- supplement the financing instruments for strategically relevant projects in individual cases with large-volume, low-interest loans.
At the end of 2023, the Federal Government further developed the key points by concretising the strategy paper on strategic foreign projects. This extends the scope of application of strategic foreign projects to include projects that make a significant contribution to reducing German (raw material/energy) dependencies and strengthening climate protection or the sustainable development of the host country. The instrument is thus being adapted to the requirements of decarbonisation, diversification and climate-related transformation. Secondly, a transparent catalogue of criteria for the selection of projects will be established.
The Federal Government's coordinator for foreign projects in the strategic interest of the Federal Republic of Germany, State Secretary Udo Philipp, decides with his departmental colleagues on the categorisation of specific foreign projects in Germany's interest. The "Export Financing, Export Credit Insurance, Strategic Foreign Projects" division at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection is responsible for this.
Special conditions for export credit guarantees can help strategic foreign projects to reduce their financing costs and thus make them competitive.
Export Credit Guarantees have been an established and effective foreign trade promotion instrument of the Federal Government for decades. They protect German exporters and banks financing exports against political and economic risks. The Federal Government has commissioned Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft to provide the so-called Hermes Cover.