Broadly defined, an export credit arises whenever a foreign buyer of exported goods or services is allowed to defer payment. Export credits ... may take the form of "supplier credits", extended by the exporter, or of "buyer credits", where the exporter's bank or other financial institution lends to the buyer (or his bank). Export credit agencies may give official support to both types of credit. 1
There are a number of ways in which governments can give support to export financing. Official support may include insurance against commercial and political risk, guarantees of repayment, and insurance against cost-inflation and foreign exchange risk. Governments may also give financial support in the form of direct credits, refinancing and the subsidisation of interest rates.