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EX-IM BANK OPENS FINANCING FOR US EXPORTS TO WEST BANK/GAZA

Vice Chair Clegg Announces Action During Mideast Business Development Trip Oct. 8-18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 7, 1999

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200 (USA)

Jackie M. Clegg, vice chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), announced Ex-Im Bank will finance the sale of US goods and services to buyers in the West Bank and Gaza territories. Clegg made the announcement during a six-stop Mideast trip with Commerce Secretary Daley Oct. 8-18 aimed at expanding US exports to the region. Clegg is visiting Jordan, Israel, Gaza and West Bank, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

Until now, Ex-Im Bank programs were not available to importers of US goods and services in Gaza and West Bank, Clegg said. I`m delighted to announce that Ex-Im Bank now is open to accept creditworthy tranasactions involving importers in Gaza and West Bank, provided the obligor or guarantor on the transaction is located in a country where Ex-Im Bank programs currently are available. We will be exploring further ways to facilitate financing without an external guarantee.

In Jordan, Clegg will announce reauthorization of the Jordanian Framework Agreement, which will cover up to $200 million in financing for the purchase of US exports through fiscal year 2000.

The business development mission will allow Clegg, Secretary Daley and US businesses to meet with heads of state and other government and business leaders and members of the banking community to strengthen partnerships that will facilitate US trade in this region.

Clegg said US exporters have expressed interest in a number of projects in the power, transportation, telecommunications and other sectors. Over the past two years, Ex-Im Bank has authorized $2.12 billion in financing in support of US exports to the Middle East and Egypt. The financing has covered a wide range of exports including agricultural products such as corn oil and rice to Jordan, X-ray detection equipment to Egypt to combat drug trafficking and terrorism, pregnant holstein heifers to Egyptian dairy producers, aircraft to Saudi Arabia, and an environmentally beneficial boiler system to Israel`s Haifa Chemical Co. that recycles sulfur emissions into usable steam energy.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to industrializing and developing markets all over the world by providing loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank supported $16.7 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.