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Monday, 21 October 2002
Page: 5574


Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 24 September 2002:

(1) Of the countries that are currently indebted to Australia, what countries have debts generated by the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) (i.e. including debt generated since the inception of the EFIC and all developing countries, not just those in the Highly Indebted Poor Country Scheme).

(2) For each country, what are the dollar amounts of those debts.

(3) For each country, what is the percentage of EFIC-generated debt as a percentage of its total debt.

(4) (a) What is the percentage of EFIC-generated debt of the total debt owed to Australia; and (b) what specific facilities does this debt correspond to, including: (i) company name, (ii) date of facility, (iii) type of facility, (iv) name of project, and (v) host country.

(5) (a) What is the: (i) sum total, and (ii) percentage, of Australia's bilateral debt generated from the EFIC related to the use of sovereign guarantees; and (b) what specific facilities does this debt correspond to, including: (i) company name, (ii) date of facility, (iii) type of facility, (iv) name of project, and (v) host country.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Trade has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The following countries have EFIC-related debts to Australia:

Bangladesh

Bhutan

China

Cook Is

Cuba

Egypt

Ethiopia

India

Indonesia

Iraq

Nepal

Nicaragua

Papua New Guinea

Philippines

Russia

Solomon Is

Sri Lanka

Thailand

Tonga

United Arab Emirates

Vietnam

(2) The Australian dollar amounts of the debts owing to (or guaranteed by) EFIC by the countries listed above as at 30 August 2002 are as follows:

Country

Total

Bangladesh

11,749,583

Bhutan

429,174

China

410,082,814

Cook Is

291,434

Cuba

9,652,140

Egypt

186,847,839

Ethiopia

8,527,635

India

64,654,107

Indonesia

1,611,511,474

Iraq

717,131,474*

Nepal

8,332,669

Nicaragua

6,279,627

Papua New Guinea

28,506,592

Philippines

274,118,585

Russia

636,051,956

Solomon Is

13,454,659

Sri Lanka

64,696,378

Thailand

10,080,098

Tonga

1,354,870

Vietnam

8,309,308

United Arab Emirates

1,182,180

* plus accrued interest

(3) Reliable information on the percentage of EFIC-related debt for each country as a percentage of each country's total debt is not available. In terms of the percentage of EFIC-related debt as percentage of each country's total debt to the Commonwealth of Australia, the following information is provided.

Country

%

Bangladesh

100

Bhutan

100

China

100

Cook Is

100

Cuba

100

Egypt

100

Ethiopia

100

India

100

Indonesia

100

Malaysia

100

Nepal

100

Nicaragua

100

Papua New Guinea

12.6

Philippines

100

Russia

100

Solomon Is

100

Sri Lanka

100

Thailand

100

Tonga

100

Vietnam

100

(4) (a) The percentage of EFIC-related debt of the total debt to the Commonwealth of Australia is approximately 95.4%.

(b) Details of each of the relevant facilities have been published annually by EFIC in its Annual Reports.

(5) EFIC has on occasion made loans directly to sovereign borrowers. It has also guaranteed loans by commercial financiers to sovereign borrowers (Export Finance Guarantees). Each year EFIC publishes details of loans and guarantees provided, including facilities provided to governments, in its Annual Report.

In addition to loan facilities or guarantees provided by EFIC at the request of foreign governments, on several occasions EFIC has paid insurance claims to exporters that have not been paid for insured exports to foreign governments and government bodies. In those situations the foreign governments have become indebted to EFIC.