FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 11, 2002
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has financing programs specifically geared to help minority- and woman-owned small businesses compete in foreign markets, D. Vanessa Weaver, a member of Ex-Im Bank's board of directors, told Asian American business leaders today at a round table discussion in Seattle, WA.
Ex-Im Bank is committed to going the extra mile for minority businesses. We want to bring that message to Asian American-owned businesses in Seattle and other parts of Washington State, Weaver said. We want them to know that, to compete and succeed, businesses large and small must play on a global stage.
Ex-Im Bank offers eligible minority- and woman-owned businesses coverage for 100 percent of their working capital financing needs to fill foreign orders. The Bank also offers special small business export credit insurance policies to insure small business exporters against the risk of nonpayment by a foreign buyer.
Last year, Ex-Im Bank's working capital minority business initiative supported 30 transactions worth nearly $35 million, and its working capital woman-owned business initiative supported 25 transactions worth more than $32 million. Ex-Im Bank also issued 58 insurance policies for minority-owned businesses and 53 policies for woman-owned business in FY 2001.
Weaver noted that smaller Washington companies already are benefiting from Ex-Im Bank financing programs. Korvan Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of berry, coffee and grape harvesters in Lynden, WA, used an Ex-Im Bank export credit insurance policy to secure a $112,000 order from a coffee plantation in Zambia. The Lucks Company in Kent, WA, used an Ex-Im Bank insurance policy to cover orders from Gigante, one of Mexico's largest supermarket chains. We want to expand our support to Asian American firms, Weaver said.
Ex-Im Bank 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 Washington State over the past five years, Ex-Im Bank helped 56 companies in 27 communities export $16.8 million in goods and services. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank supported $12.5 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.