News in brief: Oman, defence, finance, Equator Principles

News in brief
News in brief

UK and Oman bolster relationship with new joint project

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced the intent to develop a multi-million pound joint venture between British defence company Babcock International and the Oman Drydock Company, which will secure jobs in the UK.

The agreement, supporting development at the booming Duqm Port complex, will provide vital engineering work and support to the world’s naval vessels, including the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.

Speaking on a visit to Oman the Defence Secretary reaffirmed the longstanding relationship between the UK and Oman by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement will allow the countries to continue conducting exercises and training together.

Mr Fallon said: “Last week’s attacks in Brussels were a reminder that all of us, the Gulf and Europe, must stand together to defeat Daesh and its ideology.”

UK Export Finance signs up to Equator Principles

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has adopted the Equator Principles, a global framework to promote sustainable environmental, social and human rights decision-making in financing projects.

UKEF’s chief executive officer Louis Taylor claimed that, in adopting the Equator Principles, UKEF joins international financial institutions and export credit agencies including numerous partner banks with which UKEF works frequently.

He said: “This global framework will give UK exporters supported by UKEF confidence that environmental, social and human rights issues that may carry ethical or reputational risk have been given consideration as part of UKEF’s support to relevant projects. In adopting the Equator Principles, we do not anticipate any additional administrative burden to UK exporters applying for export finance support.”

Since their introduction in 2003, the Equator Principles have enabled financial institutions to engage with stakeholders including non-governmental organisations and the private sector to converge on mutual environmental and social principles. With the Equator Principles adopted by over 80 financial institutions, they cover, according to the Equator Principles Association, 70% of project finance debt for projects in emerging markets.