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EX-IM BANK TO BEGIN SURVEY OF CHINESE BANKS TO EXPAND OPPORTUNITIES TO FINANCE U.S. EXPORTS TO CHINA

Ex-Im Bank Official To Meet with Chinese Banks During April 18-25 China Visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 18, 2002

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

In China - Lauren Verdey (202) 549-4876, In Washington, D.C. - Marianna Ohe (202)565-3200

The Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) will undertake a review of Chinese banks to pave the way to do more financing in support of U.S. exports to China, D. Vanessa Weaver, a member of Ex-Im Bank's board of directors, announced today.

Weaver will meet representatives of a wide range of Chinese financial institutions in both Beijing and Shanghai during an eight-day visit to China April 18-25.

China already is one of Ex-Im Bank's largest customers, with total Ex-Im Bank exposure totaling nearly $6 billion, Weaver said. But Ex-Im Bank stands ready to finance more U.S. exports to China as it continues to implement market reforms. One of the steps to achieve this is to acquaint ourselves better with Chinese banks in order to become more comfortable taking non-sovereign risk in this important market.

Most Ex-Im Bank financing in support of U.S. exports to China is backed by the sovereign guarantee of the Government of China. We would like to add to our portfolio by doing some business with Chinese banks on a non-sovereign basis, Weaver said. We also would like to explore doing business with private Chinese banks.

During her stay in Beijing from April 18-23, Weaver will meet with Ministry of Finance officials, attend a luncheon with major private and public sector Chinese financial institutions, and meet individually with other banks. She will hold discussions with financial institutions in Shanghai on April 24-25.

Ex-Im Bank staff will follow up on Weaver's mission by conducting in-depth interviews of Chinese financial institutions to prepare a report on the country's banking sector. It is Ex-Im Bank's customary procedure in preparing to become more active in the emerging sectors of foreign markets.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets, by providing loans, guarantees and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank authorized $340 million in financing to support U.S. exports to China, and $9.2 billion to support $12.5 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.