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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Vice Chair Jackie M. Clegg will urge large and small Georgia companies to use Ex-Im Bank financing services to sell their products and services abroad at the Southeast Georgia Conference on International Trade to be held in Savannah, Friday, March 31, 2000 beginning at 9 a.m. The conference sponsored by Congressman Jack Kingston (1st District, GA) in conjunction with the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and the International Trade Administration (ITA) will be held at the Memorial Health Medical Education Auditorium, 4700 Waters Ave. Clegg will participate in a morning-long panel discussion on government and private resources to help the more than 100 local businesses participating in the conference to compete in foreign markets.

Many resources are available from the federal government and private entities to help all businesses better connect with trade and investment opportunities abroad, Congressman Kingston said. Unfortunately, many are not aware of the full range of assistance available.

One of the biggest challenges that we as an agency have struggled with is how to 'get the word out' to US exporters that Ex-Im Bank is here to help them boost sales, Clegg said. We are aggressively reaching out to small business exporters, women- and minority-owned businesses, and companies located in inner cities and rural areas that otherwise might not be able to export at all.

In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank loans, guarantees and insurance have helped 137 Georgia companies in 49 communities to export $617 million of goods and services. Nearly 60 percent of these transactions were on behalf of small businesses.

The support has covered a wide range of businesses. Reeves Industries, Savannah, GA, used an Ex-Im Bank multibuyer export credit insurance policy to export $300,000 of plastics materials to Brazil and other markets. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Savannah, GA, exported $49 million of aircraft to Argentine buyers backed by Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees. Georgia Timber International, Inc., Buford, GA, a small lumber export broker, increased export sales 155% and increased its workforce from two employees to four permanent and one part-time worker with the support of Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee financing.

M A S Export Limited, Savannah, GA, has used Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee financing to fill more than $3 million of automobile parts orders from foreign buyers. Blue Bird Corp., Macon, GA, has exported 14 buses valued at $1.07 million to Kingdom Transport Services Ltd., Accra, Ghana, with the help of an Ex-Im Bank medium-term, single-sale, single-shipment insurance policy. Medium-term insurance also facilitated the export of diagnostic medical equipment by Princeton Medical Enterprises, Atlanta, GA, a minority owned business, to Polyclinique Sante-Anne-Marie in Cote d'Ivoire, the largest hospital in West Africa.

Ex-Im Bank seeks to reach more Georgia exporters by forming partnerships with local entities. Currently Georgia has one City-State Partner, the Export Assistance Center in Atlanta. The City-State Partners Program trains staff members at state and local entities to bring Ex-Im Bank services to the exporter, to walk new Ex-Im Bank users through the application process, and package the financing for local banks.

Ex-Im Bank also forms partnerships with Delegated Authority Lender banks that can commit Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee without prior approval, greatly speeding the waiting time for exporters which may be crucial in obtaining a highly sought-after contract. The following Atlanta-based banks are Delegated Authority Lenders: SunTrust Banks, Inc., SouthTrust Bank, N.A.; AmTrade International Bank; and Fleet Capital Corp.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US 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.