As I was reading my print copy of the Economist last week, an advertisement taken out by the African Export-Import Bank, in search of a new President and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, grabbed my attention. No doubt the pay and perks are pretty good, but I wasn’t thinking of applying. Rather, it made me wonder, just how many Ex-Im Banks are there in the world? To get a sense of it, I checked out the official list compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for agencies in OECD countries , as well as Wikipedia’s broader, global list.
It’s quite a long list! Which leads me to the following point. These days, trade negotiations often seem to have veered away from their traditional focus, with a lot of time now spent on issues such as intellectual property protection and labor rights. Subsidies were one of the original targets of trade talks, and it would be great to put them back in the mix. How about negotiating an end to the proliferation of export subsidies by these kinds of institutions?