FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 24, 2010
Phil Cogan (in Mexico 23 Feb. - 28 Feb. mobile: 01-202-746-1676) - Other times: (202) 565-3200
Mexico City, Mexico -- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the National Development Bank for Public Works and Services (Banobras) of Mexico today signed a memorandum of agreement for Ex-Im Bank to provide up to $1 billion in financing for Mexico's National Infrastructure Program (NIP).
Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg and Banobras Director General Alonso Garcia Tamés signed a memorandum of understanding at a ceremony at the headquarters of Banobras in Santa Fe during Hochberg's six-day visit to Mexico to promote trade relations between the two countries.
We look forward to Mexico's use of Ex-Im Bank financing to buy high-quality U.S. goods, services and technology to support Mexico's infrastructure development programs, Hochberg said. This latest step in the long-standing close relationship between our two countries will support growth both in Mexico's economy and in U.S. jobs.
Ex-Im Bank will initially support up to $1 billion to further Mexico's NIP and will work with Mexico to identify specific projects to be covered by the financing.
Mexico launched its NIP to improve and expand infrastructure in the transportation, energy and utility sectors and address bottlenecks in infrastructure capacity. The program includes hundreds of highway, airport, railway, seaport and telecommunications projects, as well as energy projects including electricity and renewable energy technologies such as water, wind power and water treatment systems.
The infrastructure agenda set forth by President Calderon has no precedent in the country's modern history and, as such, provides a major opportunity for U.S. companies to become active players in Mexico's infrastructure plan, Alonso Garcia Tamés declared. The memorandum of understanding between Banobras and Ex-Im Bank will ensure that competitive financing conditions will be available to companies participating in infrastructure projects in Mexico. Banobras welcomes Ex-Im Bank as a key partner to fulfill our government's objectives.
During his trip, Hochberg will meet with a wide range of government, financial and business leaders to explore opportunities for U.S. exporters to support Mexican infrastructure projects.
Mexico is Ex-Im Bank's largest customer. The Bank's current outstanding exposure to Mexico is $7.1 billion. In FY09, Ex-Im Bank authorized $ 1.7 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance to support U.S. exports to Mexico. This included $900 million in long-term direct loans to support more than $1 billion of exports of oil and gas equipment from hundreds of companies across the U.S. to Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX).
Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency has for over 76 years helped create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sales of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2009, Ex-Im Bank set a record, authorizing more than $21 billion in support of U.S. exports to help ease tightened liquidity during the economic crisis. The Bank authorized a record $9.9 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance during the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 (Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2009) - more than three times the $3.28 billion authorized in the same period of fiscal 2009.
Banobras is Mexico's state-owned bank devoted to financing infrastructure projects. In 2008, the government of Mexico launched the National Infrastructure Fund, a trust within Banobras that provides financing to infrastructure projects to direct equity investment, provision of grants, loans or guarantees.