Senate debates

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Questions without Notice

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

2:42 pm

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

My question is to Senator Cormann, representing the Minister For Trade and Investment. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday reported that the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation will be providing BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto over $110 million in finance for a mining joint venture in Chile. EFIC has previously come under criticism, not least from the Productivity Commission in 2012, for focusing its activities on large corporations rather than meeting its mandate to offer loans and insurance where it would otherwise not be available. EFIC’s own website states: 'EFIC supports the growth of Australian companies in their international activities by providing tailored financial solutions when the private market faces constraints.' Can the minister please provide information on what market constraints were faced by these two companies, which together made nearly $20 billion profit between them last year.


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