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Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

(MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES) -- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) signed an agreement here today to further the sale of U.S. goods and services for large infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

Ex-Im Bank President and Chairman Martin A. Kamarck amended the Bank's bilateral agreement with the Philippines, removing a requirement that Ex-Im Bank project financing be backed by government guarantees of foreign exchange availability.

This demonstrates Ex-Im Bank's increased confidence in the Philippine economy and foreign exchange stability, and our ability to support public and private projects in the Philippines without a government crutch, Kamarck said at a signing ceremony presided over by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Kamarck's visit to the Philippines coincides with the meeting in Manila of government and business leaders in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Kamarck said the Philippines -- Ex-Im Bank's second largest market in Asia after Indonesia -- is a model for the region of successful, well-structured project finance deals. To the extent that other governments follow the Philippines' lead, they will be able to develop similar transactions, he said.

Ex-Im Bank has supported six project finance transactions in the Philippines, more than in any country in the world. Limited recourse project finance is a type of private financing where repayment is based on project revenues, rather than a government guarantee of the debt. Demand for such financing in developing countries has soared in recent years amid growing privatization, the need to reduce sovereign debt, and projections of unprecedented economic growth.

Ex-Im Bank has a $2.2 billion portfolio in the Philippines and another $2 billion of potential business in the pipeline.

While in Manila, Kamarck also was to sign a memorandum of understanding in support of $444 million of Ex-Im Bank financing for a 440-megawatt coal-fired power project in Quezon Province.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent government agency that helps create American jobs by financing and promoting the sale of U.S. goods and services around the world.