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Ex-Im Bank Partnership with Medgar Evers College Trade Center Will Help New York Area Small Businesses Grow through Exporting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 3, 2008

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

NEW YORK CITY -- A dynamic new trade center established at Medgar Evers College (MEC) of the City University of New York will help companies in the greater New York City metropolitan area get the financing they need to compete in global markets through a new partnership with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

Ruth J. Morrison, executive director of the Brooklyn International Trade Development Center (BITDC), today joined Diane G. Farrell, Ex-Im Bank board of directors member, in signing a partnership agreement between BITDC and the Bank at a ceremony at the college.

Attending the event were Congressman Edolphus (Ed) Towns, 10th Congressional District, and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, 11th Congressional District, who both represent parts of Brooklyn, as well as Israel Hernandez, assistant secretary of Trade and Promotion/director general, US Foreign and Commercial Service. The center will serve companies in the New York City metro region including northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

The Brooklyn International Trade Development Center will help us get the word out to more local companies that we have the financing tools to help them increase sales through exporting, Farrell said. Many firms in the area, including African American-, Hispanic-. women-owned and other minority businesses, will directly benefit from this partnership.

BITDC was established in September 2006 at the college named for the late civil rights leader Medgar Evers through the leadership of Congressman Towns and with a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

This innovative partnership between the Brooklyn International Trade Development Center and Ex-Im Bank is yet another example of Medgar Evers College's continuing commitment to community development,said Dr. Edison O. Jackson, president of Medgar Evers. We are proud to be the venue for a venture that provides such exciting opportunities for Brooklyn businesses to grow and strike out into the global economy.

Our number one goal is to help our companies export to foreign countries by offering them one-on-one technical assistance,Morrison said. Since July we've recruited 14 companies and they are in various stages within our pipeline. Most of them are small, and they run the gamut from textile chemicals to cosmetics to specialized glass-making to precision metals, and we also have a couple of service companies. Ex-Im Bank can help us widen our reach.Morrison noted that there is no transaction too small to be considered for Ex-Im Bank financing.

BITDC's mission is to promote the expansion of the local economy through increased international trade in goods and services and related activities with the overall goal of workforce development and job creation.

As an Ex-Im Bank City/State Partner, BITDC can help local businesses learn about and apply for a range of Ex-Im Bank financing products, including short-term export-credit insurance to mitigate the risk of foreign buyer nonpayment, loan guarantees to increase export-related working capital, and medium-term financing for foreign buyers.

With the addition of BITDC, Ex-Im Bank has 53 City/State Partners in 31 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 74th year, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im Bank authorized $12.6 billion in financing to support an estimated $16 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.