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EX-IM BANK, CROATIA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO COOPERATE IN FINANCING TRADE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 12, 2002

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) today signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in financing the sale of U.S. exports for infrastructure and other projects in Croatia, and to cooperate in financing the sale of U.S. and Croatian goods and services for projects in other countries.

Ex-Im Bank Vice Chairman Eduardo Aguirre, Jr., and HBOR Managing Board President Anton Kovacev signed the agreement at a ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia. Maja Brinar, Deputy Minister of Commercefrom the visiting Croatian delegation to the United States, and Croatian Ambassador to the United States Ivan Grdesic were on hand to witness the signing.

Ex-Im Bank is committed to working with HBOR to expand support for creditworthy transactions in Croatia and other markets in this important region, Aguirre said. This will support U.S. exports and jobs while contributing to Croatia's economic and infrastructure development.

For the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, this memorandum represents a great achievement, Kovacev said. It will help Croatian companies, jointly with American firms, to start projects in third countries. The strengthening of business relations between Ex-Im Bank and HBOR and the fostering of economic cooperation between Croatia and the United States are the foundations upon which this memorandum is laid.

Under the agreement, Ex-Im Bank and HBOR will work together to identify transactions suitable for support on a risk-sharing basis, in such sectors as energy, port infrastructure, tourism, environmental projects, agriculture, technology, health care and education. Both banks anticipate providing credit, guarantee and insurance products and services. Where appropriate, they will consider participation in long-term financing of transactions structured on a project finance basis, where repayment is based on project revenues.

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. Ex-Im Bank financing is available for creditworthy short-, medium-, and long-term public and private sector transactions in Croatia. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support $12.5 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.