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EX-IM BANK VICE CHAIR CALLS FOR INCREASED FINANCIAL TIES WITH AFRICA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 28, 2004

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow, (202) 565-3200

INCREASING CAPITAL FLOWS TO AFRICA CONFERENCE

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA- Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Vice Chair April Foley called for expanded U.S.-African trade and investment this morning at a conference here on increasing capital flows to Africa.

We used to hear debates about whether the U.S. government's proper role in Africa was trade or aid, but we now know the answer is both, Foley said at a plenary breakfast. She highlighted Bush Administration efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa and advance trade under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, and added: Overall U.S. exports to Africa increased by about 7 percent in 2003 to $11 billion, and I am proud to say that last year was Ex-Im Bank's best year ever on the continent in terms of both transactions supported and dollars authorized.

The two-day, continent-wide conference, co-sponsored by the Bank and the Corporate Council on Africa, is intended to strengthen U.S.-African business partnerships to help meet the continent's capital needs for infrastructure and other projects. More than 400 representatives of financial institutions, governments, and businesses from throughout Africa and the world are focusing at the conference on high-priority infrastructure projects, as well as financing issues related to African capital markets, small and medium-sized enterprises, agribusiness, and information technology.

Ex-Im Bank, the official U.S. export credit agency, has supported nearly 400 U.S. export transactions in Africa valued at approximately $1.5 billion during the last two years.

The Bank this year marks its 71st year of helping finance 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 2003, it authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.