FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 15, 2002
Niki Shepperd (202) 565-3200
Dan Renberg, a member of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today told Vermont business leaders in Burlington that Ex-Im can play a crucial role in supporting Vermont exports. In a keynote address at the 4th Annual Vermont World Trade Day in Burlington, Renberg urged Vermont exporters to be more competitive, reach new markets, and increase their international sales with the help of Ex-Im Bank financing.
Last year, 85 percent of Ex-Im Bank's transactions supported small businesses. Ex-Im Bank wants to do more to help Vermont companies export, said Renberg. Vermont has the fastest export growth in the Northeast. But there is even greater potential for small and medium-sized companies to export to many emerging markets around the world. Ex-Im Bank can provide the financing products to make this happen.
One example is Questech Metals Corporation in Middlebury is a small company of approximately 75 employees that used Ex-Im Bank's short-term insurance to sell its patented decorative tiles to Great Britain, Europe, Australia, and Israel. The company, in business since 1989, makes tiles that combine metal with plastic polymers. Ex-Im Bank's insurance has enabled Questech Metals to increase foreign sales and sustain jobs at its plant in Middlebury.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, who will address Vermont's World Trade Day conference by video, said, Vermont has always relied on international trade, and we even have an international border. In 2001, Vermont exported almost $2.8 billion in products across the globe. Now that the Internet is opening new markets, exports will continue to strengthen and diversify our economy.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to developing markets around the world, through export credit insurance, loan guarantees, and direct loans. The Bank's support has benefited nine Vermont companies in nine communities, with 100 percent of the transactions involving small businesses. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank helped to finance nearly $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.