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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Angela M. Phifer (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has selected two Carolina organizations to join its City/State Program -- the University of South Carolina (USC) Center for Export Development and the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC).

The Carolina groups are the latest participants to join a one-year cooperative marketing and training program through Ex-Im Bank`s City/State Program. They will work closely with the Carolinas U.S. Export Assistance Center in Charlotte, NC as Ex-Im Bank`s local representatives.

The Carolinas are rapidly becoming the major financial center of the South, said Ex-Im Bank Director Maria Luisa Haley. The banking community and our new partners have demonstrated their commitment to the small business community throughout both North and South Carolina.

The intent of the City/State Program is to make Ex-Im Bank`s export finance programs more accessible to small- and medium-sized exporters through the help of state and local organizations. Ex-Im Bank trains City/State partners to market the Bank`s programs to local businesses and commercial banks, teach seminars, counsel exporters and banks, and package transactions. City/State partners facilitate many commercial loans that otherwise would not go forward.

We`re very excited about our participation in the program and we believe our outstanding contacts with the business and banking communities will prove beneficial to the program, said Scott Daugherty, Executive Director of the North Carolina`s SBTDC.

Wayne Trotter, Director of Export Development at USC stated, The University of South Carolina, in its continued commitment to help strengthen the global competitiveness of South Carolina`s firms, is pleased to have the opportunity to participate in Ex-Im Bank`s City/State Partnership Program. This joint effort will result in improved access to trade finance for the benefit of South Carolina`s small to medium sized companies.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance and promote the sale of U.S. goods and services around the world. The Bank authorized a record $379.6 million in financing under its Working Capital Guarantee Program for fiscal year 1996. This figure is up 24 percent from last year. The program is used almost exclusively by small businesses.