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EX-IM BANK STRENGTHENS SUPPORT FOR SOUTH CAROLINA EXPORTERS; MID-ATLANTIC REGION OFFICE WELCOMES SOUTH CAROLINA

Ex-Im Bank Officials to Visit South Carolina March 7-9

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 2, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

South Carolina companies will have easier access to Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) financing to help them compete in foreign markets with the expansion of Ex-Im Bank's Mid-Atlantic Region Office to include the state of South Carolina.

Before the latest action South Carolina had been served by Ex-Im Bank's Southeast Region Office headquartered in Miami. The Mid-Atlantic Region Office at Ex-Im Bank national headquarters in Washington, D.C. also serves the states of West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and the District of Colombia.

Robert J. Kaiser, director of the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Ex-Im Bank Senior Business Development Officer Francis E. Wilson will visit South Carolina March 7-9 to introduce themselves to local businesses, state government representatives and lending institutions. They will visit Columbia March 7-8 and Charleston March 9. Wilson joined the Mid-Atlantic office this month to help handle anticipated growth in Ex-Im Bank financing activity in South Carolina and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The Carolinas are often linked as an economic unit, as with the Carolina group of the National Association of Credit Managers, and it makes sense to have one regional office handle both states, said Kaiser.

Kaiser and his staff will be traveling frequently throughout South Carolina in the coming year to develop contacts with lenders and potential exporters, and to provide close support and cooperation with Ex-Im Bank's South Carolina City/State Partners Program representative, Wayne Trotter. The stepped-up contact will help increase sales of South Carolina goods and services to foreign markets.

In South Carolina over the past five years, Ex-Im Bank helped 44 companies in 23 communities export $215 million in goods and services, sustaining an estimated 3,117 jobs. Fully half of the transactions were on behalf of small businesses.

Ex-Im Bank opened a Mid-Atlantic Region Office in September1998 to more easily reach exporters in states previously served by Ex-Im Bank's New York, Chicago and Miami regional offices. The Mid-Atlantic Region exceeded its growth goals in fiscal year 1999, selling 47 export credit insurance policies rather than the targeted 30, and providing $26.5 million in working capital guarantees rather than the expected $20 million. This year, we expect to sell 60 insurance policies, Kaiser said, noting that the Mid-Atlantic Region is one of the fastest growing areas in the country for high technology industries, which have excellent export potential.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank helped to finance nearly $17 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.

Interested South Carolina companies can reach Ex-Im Bank's Mid-Atlantic Regon Office by phoning 1-800-565-EXIM or 202-565-3940, or checking Ex-Im Bank's web site at www.exim.gov. Companies also can contact South Carolina City/State Partner Wayne Trotter at 864-907-5730.