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Linda Formella (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the Government of Armenia today signed a Project Incentive Agreement (PIA) that lays the foundation for U.S. exports to the former Soviet Republic by facilitating financing for exports to creditworthy projects.

The agreement provides a framework for project financing of U.S. exports to Armenian projects, in which security for U.S. sales will not be based on a sovereign guarantee from the Armenian government but on export revenues generated by production from the newly developed project or from an existing entity in the case of a modernization project. It also provides for expediting approvals from the Armenian government necessary for operation of projects and their financing.

The PIA was signed at a ceremony at Ex-Im Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Signing for Armenia were Armen Darbinian, minister of Finance and Economy, and Rouben Shugarian, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, who signed on behalf of the Central Bank of Armenia. President and Chairman James A. Harmon signed for Ex-Im Bank.

This agreement is a foundation for building the trading relationship between the U.S. and Armenia, Harmon said. By establishing a structure for project financing and expediting government approvals, this agreement will ensure that U.S. exporters will have access to an emerging market with great potential.

Ex-Im Bank has not opened its programs for sovereign-guaranteed transactions since Armenia became independent upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. However, Armenia`s progress in implementing economic reforms has helped pave the way for the PIA.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent government agency that promotes and finances the sale of U.S. goods and services around the world.