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EX-IM BANK SIGNS CITY/STATE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH PUERTO RICO SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER NETWORK

Ex-Im Bank Board Member D. Vanessa Weaver and Puerto Rico's Secretary of State Ferdinand Mercado Address Trade Development Roundtable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 26, 2001

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202) 565-3200

Puerto Rico companies will have greater access to the export financing programs of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) through Ex-Im Bank's newest City/State Partner, the Puerto Rico Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. Ex-Im Bank Board Member D. Vanessa Weaver signed the Ex-Im Bank City/State Partnership agreement today at the International Trade Center in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. The agreement was also signed by Carmen Marti, executive director of the Puerto Rico SBDC Network, and Manuel J. Fernós, president of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. The signing was preceded by a trade development roundtable that featured Ms. Weaver, Puerto Rico's Secretary of State Ferdinand Mercado, and Sandro Murtas, director of the International Trade Center of the Puerto Rico SBDC Network.

Ex-Im Bank wants to help more companies in Puerto Rico to access the export financing they need to compete in foreign markets and increase international sales. Our City/State Partnership with the Puerto Rico SBDC Network will enable more small and medium-sized businesses in Puerto Rico to obtain Ex-Im Bank financing through the assistance of local trade experts, D. Vanessa Weaver said.

As an Ex-Im Bank City/State Partner, the Puerto Rico SBDC Network is marketing Ex-Im Bank's financing programs to local businesses and commercial banks, providing seminars for exporters and lenders, and helping to arrange transactions. Two important Ex-Im Bank small business programs that can be accessed through the new City/State Partner are the Working Capital Guarantee Program that provides guarantees of working capital loans to help small and medium-sized companies to obtain capital for pre-export activity, and the Export Credit Insurance Program that insures companies against payment default by a foreign buyer.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing U.S. exports through export credit insurance, loan guarantees, and direct loans. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has helped to finance $26 million of exports from Puerto Rico.