FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 3, 2010
Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced today that it is open to provide short- and medium-term financing for purchases of U.S. exports by public-sector buyers in Laos as well as public and private sector buyers in Bolivia. In addition, Ex-Im Bank extended its available financing to include long-term public sector transactions in Turkmenistan, where the Bank had been open for short- and medium-term public sector financing. Short-term financing is available for up to 360 days, medium-term for up to seven years, and long-term for as much as 18 years.
The change in status for Laos follows the determination by President Barack Obama in June 2009 that Laos and Cambodia are no longer considered Marxist-Leninist countries as defined under section 2(b)(2B)(i) of the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, as amended (Ex-Im Bank charter). Prior to the presidential determination, Ex-Im Bank had been prohibited from providing financing in either country because of this designation. Ex-Im Bank announced in October that it is open to provide short- and medium-term financing for purchases of U.S. exports by private-sector buyers in Cambodia.
President Obama has opened the door for U.S. exporters in Laos, and Ex-Im Bank stands ready to assist them. We are pleased to announce that the Bank will consider financing for short-term and medium-term U.S. sales to public-sector buyers, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. We are also pleased that we can do business in Bolivia, and can extend our available financing in Turkmenistan.
U.S. government agencies, including Ex-Im Bank, participate in an interagency process to review country risks. The agencies assigned a country-risk rating for Laos in December, 2009. The interagency group regularly reviews and assigns risk ratings to countries around the world. New ratings for Bolivia and Turkmenistan enabled Ex-Im Bank to make the above-mentioned changes in those countries.
The Bank also can consider financing arrangements for U.S. exports to private-sector buyers in Laos and the other above-mentioned countries on longer repayment terms under certain conditions. Examples of potentially acceptable transactions include structured-finance transactions with non-domestic revenue sources, and asset-backed lease and financing structures for equipment exports such as U.S.-manufactured commercial aircraft.
Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sales of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2009, Ex-Im Bank set a record, authorizing more than $21 billion in support of U.S. exports to help ease tightened liquidity during the economic crisis. Ex-Im Bank also set a record for financing of small business exports at $4.36 billion in fiscal 2009. More information is available on the Bank's web site at www.exim.gov.