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Marianna Ohe 202-565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and Kyrgyzstan today signed a Project Incentive Agreement (PIA) which lays the foundation for possible financing of U.S. exports to this Central Asian former Soviet republic.

The accord was signed at a ceremony attended by Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akaev at Ex-Im Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Signing for Kyrgyzstan were Minister of Finance Talaibek Koichumanov and National Bank Chairman Marat Sultanov. President and Chairman James A. Harmon signed for Ex-Im Bank.

My country views this agreement as an important first step toward the 21st Century, Akaev said at the ceremony. We look forward to an era of cooperation between our two countries.

This groundbreaking agreement benefits both countries, Harmon said. By facilitating creditworthy projects, it enables Kyrgyzstan to obtain capital goods to develop infrastructure and industry. And it is an important first step toward opening the door to an emerging market with significant potential for U.S. exporters.

The PIA provides a framework for financing U.S. sales to Kyrgyzstan where repayment is based on export revenues from the project, rather than a sovereign guarantee of the debt by the host country government. Repayment of loans will be facilitated through the establishment of offshore collateral accounts.

Ex-Im Bank has not opened its programs for sovereign-guaranteed transactions in Kyrgyzstan since the country became independent in 1992. However, Kyrgyzstan has implemented ambitious economic reforms since gaining independence, and has made good progress in privatization and trade liberalization. The reforms have helped lead to the PIA signing between Ex-Im Bank and Kyrgyzstan.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent government agency that promotes and finances the sale of U.S. goods and services around the world.