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EX-IM BANK CHAIRMAN TELLS ALGERIANS U.S. SEEKS TO EXPAND EXPORTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 21, 2004

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow (202) 565-3200

purple-sonatrach
One of the facilities of Sonatrach, Algeria's state-owned petroleum company. Photo courtesy Sonatrach

WASHINGTON, DC -- Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman Philip Merrill told Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and other government and business leaders during four days of meetings in Algiers that the United States is committed to increasing export sales to Algerian private- and public-sector buyers.

Increased trade is an excellent way to strengthen the already vital relationship between the United States and Algeria, Merrill said. At Ex-Im Bank, we seek to support the sale of U.S. goods and services, which sustains and creates U.S. jobs while at the same time making U.S. products more affordable to emerging markets such as Algeria.

Merrill, who left Algeria today for additional business-development meetings in Turkey, met with President Bouteflika on Tuesday and Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia yesterday. He also met with the Algerian Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs and other government officials, as well as top executives of major Algerian companies such as Sonatrach, Sonelgaz, and Air Algerie. In addition, Merrill conferred with Algerian banking officials and U.S. business representatives in Algiers.

Ex-Im Bank has provided financing assistance for more than 30 years to help Sonatrach, Algeria's state-owned petroleum company, purchase U.S. equipment and services for a number of oil and gas projects. Currently, the Bank has $1.5 billion in exposure in Algeria.

Ex-Im Bank, the official U.S. export credit agency, is in 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 authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.