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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Anthony Welcher, (202) 320-0758 or Michael Suydam, (202) 565-3541

J. Joseph Grandmaison, member of the Board of Directors of the Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), was in Atlanta today to outline the agency's programs directed toward women and minority-owned exporting companies during a breakfast speech sponsored by the Atlanta Women in International Trade.

Minority and women-owned exporters face enough challenges in today's global marketplace without worrying about finance needs and credit risk, explained Grandmaison. Ex-Im Bank can assist as you prepare to enter new markets, helping you increase your sales revenue and hopefully create new jobs.

Clients of Ex-Im Bank can utilize a number of financing tools - including working capital guarantees, insurance and direct loans - to help them obtain the financing they need to compete globally. In addition, women and minority-owned companies can take advantage of 100% guarantees.

During his April 9-11 visit to Atlanta, Director Grandmaison also addressed the Pan-African-Caribbean Conference on Air Transportation Wednesday, April 10th. Attendees of the conference consisted of African and Caribbean transportation ministers, senior U.S. Government officials, national and international airline executives, as well as freight and aviation industry professionals. The focus of the conference was on expanding trade via air between African and Caribbean nations.

Congress recently passed the African Growth and Opportunity Act to sow the seeds of economic growth in 34 sub-Saharan nations, said Grandmaison during his address Wednesday evening. Ex-Im Bank has played a major role in this effort, supporting more than $1 billion in U.S. exports to the region the past two years - products and services ranging from bread-making equipment and agricultural machinery to commercial aircraft and construction equipment.

Ex-Im Bank (www.exim.gov) is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank supported $12.5 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has helped more than 100 companies throughout Georgia export more than $590 million in goods and services, helping to sustain tens of thousands of jobs throughout the state.