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A bank in Germany that extends credit to German and European exporters. It also provides guarantees of payment and insurance. It is intended to reduce the risk of European exports and thereby assist in the sale of European products abroad. This concept is controversial; critics allege that it negatively impacts international development, since developing countries cannot compete with such insured exports. Proponents, however, argue that Ausfuhrkredit-Gesellschaft's services enable developing countries to import products they otherwise would not be able to afford. It was established in 1952 and is owned by 20 German banks. See also: Export credit agency.