Development Bank officials at Berne Union's Annual General Meeting: Insurers cautiously optimistic as trade returns to pre-pandemic levels

Skopje, 23.10.2021


Representatives of the Development Bank of North Macedonia took part in the Annual General Meeting of the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers - Berne Union, organized by the Hungarian Export Credit Agency, EXIM Hungary. The AGM was attended by over 160 representatives of insurers from 52 Berne Union Member Organizations.

AGM participants discussed the business trends, policy and the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first half of 2021, the Berne Union reports that short-term credit insurance is returning to the focus of companies, driven by high commodity prices and strong business confidence. Berne Union Members issued credit limits for short-term credit insurance worth 1.8 trillion US dollars as of the first half of the year, which is an increase of 7% over the same period last year and exceeds pre-pandemic levels in 2019 by 3%. The growth of short-term credit insurance is most prominent in developed economies and is in line with the increasing trends in international trade in goods.

Faruk Ismaili, Chief Operating Officer and Darko Stefanovski, Director of Credit Insurance Division
at the Berne Union Annual General Meeting

In line with this are the results of insured receivables from the Development Bank in the first half of the year, where the insured receivables are in the amount of 98 million, which is 3.4 times more than the same period in 2020, for buyers in 33 different countries.

Improved economic prospects and low levels of claims so far, despite the gradual reduction of governments’ support both for the industry and the wider economy, provide higher appetites for risk-taking by insurers. The members of the Berne Union in the first half of 2021 paid 1 billion US dollars in claims for short-term insurance policies, 38% lower than in the previous half year period and overall resulting in the lowest short term claims/commitments ratio for any period in Berne Union records.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive conditions and the current stability, the mood of underwriters is predominantly cautious optimism due to the significant uncertainty in the next 12-month period.

The Development Bank of North Macedonia expects to end the year with a record level of insured receivables on the domestic and foreign markets, which adds a positive impact on the export component in the economy.