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EX-IM BANK $1 BILLION PROGRAM READY TO FINANCE US EXPORTS TO VENEZUELA TO REBUILD AFTER FLOOD DAMAGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 6, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202)565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has $1 billion in financing ready to assist Venezuela in purchasing US goods and services which can be used to rebuild in the wake of its flood disaster. Private Venezuelan businesses may access the Ex-Im Bank program through US-based commercial banks, through the US Foreign Commercial Service at the US Embassy in Caracas, or by calling Ex-Im Bank Business Development Officer Leeann Wetterhan at 202-565-3942. Government buyers may reach Ex-Im Bank through Venezuela's Ministry of Finance.

As Venezuela rebuilds from the flood, Ex-Im Bank stands behind its offer of $1 billion in financing initiated last June and is now fully ready to accept applications from Venezuelan businesses large and small, Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon said. The financing can be used to purchase US goods and services for projects such as road building, emergency housing, potable water provision, and hazardous waste and sewage disposal.

Harmon and then-Venezuelan Minister of Finance Maritza Izaguirre signed an agreement last June which would support up to $1 billion in US exports purchased by businesses in Venezuela. The agreement makes available funds for small, medium-sized and large businesses and government entities to purchase US-made products at attractive interest rates. Ex-Im Bank offers three types of financing for businesses in the public and private sector in Venezuela: loans, guarantees and insurance.

Ex-Im Bank authorized $330 million in financing in support of US exports to Venezuela in fiscal year 1999. Already in fiscal year 2000, Ex-Im Bank has authorized $273 million for exports to Venezuela including wastewater treatment equipment, ambulances, trucks, refuse systems and electrical generation equipment.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion in exports worldwide in fiscal year 1999.