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Ex-Im Bank Vice Chair to Sign Framework Agreements with Vietnam This Week Two Agreements to Help Expand U.S. Exports to Vietnam

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 6, 1999

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON -- Two important agreements to facilitate the use of Ex-Im Bank's programs in Vietnam will be signed in Hanoi on Thursday, December 9 by Vice Chair Jackie Clegg of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and Vietnamese Government officials.

These agreements mark another milestone in the normalization of U.S.-Vietnam relations, Ms. Clegg said. They will help expand trade between the two countries, benefitting American businesses and the Vietnamese people.

The Framework Guarantee Agreement between Ex-Im Bank and the State Bank of Vietnam is intended to facilitate the issuance of Vietnamese Government guarantees so that Vietnamese buyers can purchase U.S. goods and services with Ex-Im Bank support. Purchases of capital goods such as equipment for power generation, transportation, and telecommunications can be supported by Ex-Im Bank medium-term loans, guarantees, and insurance.

The second agreement is a Project Incentive Agreement between the governments of the two countries. This Agreement is intended to facilitate and support limited-recourse project finance transactions in Vietnam where repayment is not guaranteed by the national government.

The two agreements will help Vietnamese companies buy U.S. exports, using Ex-Im Bank's programs to protect exporters and lenders against political and commercial risks. They also will help level the playing field for U.S. businesses in Vietnam competing for sales against non-U.S. exporters. The agreements were negotiated over the last year and a half.

Ex-Im Bank has been open to consider short-term and medium-term export financing for purchases by Vietnam's public sector since early 1998. American businesses have expressed considerable interest in Ex-Im Bank financing in Vietnam, and the Bank expects a rapid growth in activity during the next year, Ms. Clegg said.

Ms. Clegg will be in Vietnam from December 8 through December 10 and, in addition to the signing ceremonies, will address gatherings of U.S. businesspeople under the auspices of the American Chambers of Commerce in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Ms. Clegg also will meet with Malaysian officials in Kuala Lumpur on December 8.

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, andinsurance. Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion in exports during the 1999 fiscal year.