FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 7, 2004
Phil Cogan (202) 565-3200 or Linda Formella (202) 565-3200
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Vice Chair April Foley today concluded a two-day business development mission to Pakistan, where she met with President Pervez Musharraf and a range of government officials and business leaders in the capital city of Islamabad. Foley was in Pakistan to promote Ex-Im Bank's opening in March 2004 for financing of U.S. exports to Pakistan's public sector and the renewal of an export letter of credit facility with three financial institutions in Pakistan to support U.S. exports to the private sector.
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Also participating in the business development mission were representatives from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
President Musharraf told Foley and the other mission members during a meeting Monday that Pakistan offers vast investment opportunities in a number of fast-growing areas including power, telecommunications and the social sector. He said the economic reforms pursued by the government of Pakistan have led to a turnaround in the national economy, and that the country offers an attractive business environment for foreign investors.
Ex-Im Bank has recognized Pakistan's economic progress and is pleased to be able to offer all of its financial products to support U.S. exports to the government of Pakistan. We have also renewed an export letter of credit facility to support purchases of U.S. exports in the private sector. We want to help build the trade and commercial relationship between our two countries, Foley said at a press event held today (June 8), in Islamabad.
Foley, who was accompanied by John Richter, Ex-Im Bank's regional director for Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, met with Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, Privatization and Investment Minister Hafiz Sheikh, and Commerce Minister Akhtar Khan, as well as officials from the ministries of Water and Power, Communication, Petroleum, and Information Technology and Telecommunication.
Last week, Ex-Im Bank renewed its facility to insure confirmations of letters of credit issued by three financial institutions in Pakistan (National Bank of Pakistan, Muslim Commercial Bank and United Bank) related to U.S. sales to Pakistan. Ex-Im Bank can support up to $125 million of U.S. exports to the private sector under this program.
Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, is in its 70th 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, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support the export of three Boeing 777 aircraft and General Electric engines to Pakistan International Airlines. Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide in fiscal year 2003. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.