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Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A four-lane highway linking Romania westward to Hungary and the rest of Central Europe and eastward to the Black Sea will be built with the assistance of a $180 million loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) to support U.S. exports. The transaction will help sustain U.S. jobs and promote Romanian trade and tourism.

The Ex-Im Bank guarantee will support a loan by RZB Finance LLC, New York, N.Y. to Romania's Ministry of Transport, Construction and Tourism. It will finance a motorway project involving the export by Bechtel Overseas Corp., San Francisco, Cal., of engineering and project management services, and the export of construction and other equipment from U.S. suppliers including Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill.; PACCAR INC., Kirkland, Wash.; Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., Lexington, Ken.; and Bukkenhave Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla

This transaction will support high-quality jobs in both of our countries and help to build a vital trade and transportation artery for Romania," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill. We are eager to do more business with the growing Romanian market.

The U.S. exports under the Ex-Im Bank transaction will be used to build a 117-kilometer segment of the 415-kilometer Brasov-Cluj-Bors Motorway that will link the city of Brasov in central Romania with the Hungarian border in the northwest. The motorway will be part of an existing larger network linking Romania to the Black Sea. The 117-kilometer segment will take will four years to build. It will take nine years to complete the entire four-lane highway.

The Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed loan will be denominated in Euros in accordance with Ex-Im Bank's Foreign Currency Guarantee Program. The financing will be guaranteed by Romania's Ministry of Public Finance, carrying the full faith and credit of the Romanian government.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 71st year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank visit //www.exim.gov.