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EX-IM BANK OPENS FINANCING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR OF BRAZIL, INCREASES CREDIT LIMIT FOR BRAZILIAN BANKS BY $1 BILLION

Expanded Financing Follows Chairman Harmon-President Cardoso Visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 2, 1998

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

David W. Carter or Ken Murphy (202) 565-3200

The opening of Ex-Im Bank public sector programs in Brazil could mean as much as an additional $2 billion in business for U.S. companies, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon.

The action by Ex-Im Bank`s Board of Directors is part of an effort to increase U.S. exports to Brazil, and follows Chairman Harmon's recent visit to Brazil where he met with Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and top government officials and business leaders and discussed ways Ex-Im Bank could expand its financing in the Brazilian market.

Since Harmon's trip, Ex-Im Bank has received nearly two dozen inquiries from Brazilian companies interested in Ex-Im Bank financing. In response, Ex-Im Bank staff currently are in Brazil on a business development mission in cooperation with the Department of Commerce's Foreign and Commercial Service. They are conducting export finance seminars on Ex-Im Bank's services for small and medium-size businesses. The team is working in Belo Horizonte, Brazilia, Rio de Janiero, Vitoria, Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo. Additionally, an Ex-Im Bank Project Finance business development officer will be in Brazil next week to explore opportunities to finance large infrastructure projects involving significant exports of U.S. goods and services.

Brazil is Ex-Im Bank's second largest market in Latin America after Mexico, with exposure totaling $3.8 billion.

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 1998, Ex-Im Bank supported $12.8 billion of U.S. exports.