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EX-IM BANK CHAIRMAN ADVANCES U.S. EXPORTS TO ALBANIA DURING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MISSION TO TIRANA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 24, 2004

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow (202) 565-3200

TIRANA, ALBANIA - Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman Philip Merrill met with Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano and other Albanian officials, as well as business and financial leaders yesterday and today during a visit to Tirana to promote expanded U.S. exports to Albania.

Trade brings benefits to people on both sides of any transaction, and is a foundation for peaceful, productive relationships among nations, Merrill said. It is clearly in both Albania's and America's interest to increase exports to Albania. Ex-Im Bank can play a key role in supporting Albanian buyers and U.S. exporters.

Ex-Im Bank short-, medium-, and long-term financing for U.S. exports to private- and public-sector buyers in Albania became available in 2001. The Bank has supported projects in 16 of the 27 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and has about $3.5 billion in exposure in the region.

In addition to Prime Minister Nano, Merrill met with Albanian Finance Minister Arben Malaj, Economy Minister Anastas Angjeli, Minister of Energy and Industry Viktor Doda, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Spartak Poçi, Albanian State Bank Governor Shkëlqim Çani, Foreign Minister Kastriot Islami, CEO of the American Bank of Albania Lorenzo Roncari, and members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 70th 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.