FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 17, 2000
Ken Murphy (202) 565-3200
Washington, D.C. -- In an effort to promote expanded trade between the United States and Algeria, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) board of directors voted to open for business for long-term public sector transactions. The board also eliminated a $2 billion ceiling for Ex-Im Bank financing to Algeria. More than $1 billion in requests for Letters of Interest, which indicate Ex-Im Bank's willingness to consider financing a transaction, were received within two days of the board's vote.
The overwhelming interest for doing business in Algeria is easily demonstrated by more than $1 billion in requests for Ex-Im Bank's Letter of Interest, Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon said. The possibility of helping to finance natural gas and oil production or fleet upgrades for Algeria's aviation industry offer critical opportunities for US exporters in this important market.
Harmon is the first Ex-Im Bank chairman to visit Algeria. During his two-day stay in December, Harmon met with Algerian President Adbelaziz Bouteflika, a number of the president's financial advisors and the Minister of Finance Abdelkrim Harchaoui. As a result of this visit, Harmon recommended three policy changes approved by the Board of Directors on December 20, 1999 which included:
- removing a $2 billion financing cap
- opening for long-term business in the public sector (businesses that are at least 50 percent government-owned)
- accepting request for Letters of Interest
Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal export credit agency, is now open to consider business in the public sector in Algeria under its short-term, medium-term and long-term programs. Ex-Im Bank financing includes loans, guarantees and insurance which can be used to purchase US-produced consumables, raw materials, capital goods and services on repayment terms from 90 days to more than 7 years, depending on which program is utilized. A Letter of Interest application is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.exim.gov.