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EX-IM BANK SUPPORTS EQUIPMENT SALE TO ARGENTINE DAIRY PROCESSOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 9, 1999

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON -- Westfalia Technologies of York, PA., is exporting $9.8 million in automated storage and retrieval systems to an Argentine dairy-products processor and distributor, with the assistance of an $8.9 million medium-term credit insurance policy from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The buyer, Mastellone Hermanos S.A. of Buenos Aires, will use the equipment to modernize its packaging and distribution facilities.

For us, this is a major project, said Jim Gibson, Business Development Manager for Westfalia. The seven-year-old manufacturer of conveyor equipment and systems has approximately 30 employees.

This transaction helps an American small business sustain jobs by increasing its access to the global marketplace, said James A. Harmon, Chairman of Ex-Im Bank.

Mastellone, which has been in business since 1929 and had sales of $745 million last year, will use the new equipment to increase production for both domestic Argentine consumption and expanded exports, particularly to Brazil. The company is Argentina's leading processor and distributor of milk, cream, butter, cheese, powdered milk, and condensed milk. Mastellone's loan is being financed by Rabobank Nederland of New York.

Argentina is one of Ex-Im Bank's oldest, largest and most active markets, with more than 150 transactions in 1997 and 1998. In June, Chairman Harmon was in Argentina to conclude trade-finance agreements with small and medium-sized Argentine businesses, the city of Buenos Aires, and for environmentally beneficial exports.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. Ex-Im Bank will support approximately $15 billion in exports in the 1999 fiscal year.