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EX-IM BANK OFFICIAL TO VISIT HANOI, HO CHI MINH CITY, TO PROMOTE U.S. EXPORTS TO VIETNAM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 14, 2002

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

In Vietnam - Lauren Verdery (202) 320-2643, In Washington, D.C. - Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

D. Vanessa Weaver, a member of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), will visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam April 15-17, 2002, to explore ways to expand Ex-Im Bank support of U.S. exports to this important Asian market.

Weaver will meet with a broad range of U.S. and Vietnamese business and government leaders during her three-day stay, before flying to the People's Republic of China on April 18 to participate in U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans' business development mission there.

Weaver is the first Ex-Im Bank official to visit Vietnam since last year's ratification of the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement by the U.S. Congress and the Government of Vietnam.

Ex-Im Bank wants to do more to help U.S. and Vietnamese companies engage in business that benefits both countries, and this is a particularly opportune moment to do so, Weaver said. The recent normalization of trade relations between the United States and Vietnam, and Vietnam's commitment to economic and trade reforms should spur the reengagement of international banks in this market and the resumption of trade growth.

With ratification of the bilateral trade agreement, Vietnam has committed to provide U.S. goods with Most Favored Nation tariff rate status. Ex-Im Bank has been open to consider short-term and medium-term export financing for purchases by Vietnam's public sector of U.S. products and services since early 1998. Ex-Im Bank also will consider on a case-by-case basis financing for private sector trade transactions structured to ensure reasonable assurance of repayment.

Weaver will visit Hanoi April 15-16 and Ho Chi Minh City April 17 to meet with top officials of Vietnam's trade- and finance-related government ministries, members of the American Chambers of Commerce in both cities, and students and graduate fellows at Economic University in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets, by providing loans, guarantees and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support $12.5 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.