FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 3, 2007
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- American General Supplies Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md., is to receive the 2007 Small Business Exporter of the Year for sub-Saharan Africa award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) at Ex-Im Bank's annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 12.
An exporter of aircraft parts to airlines in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world, American General Supplies began working with Ex-Im Bank in 1992 and, by using Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee (WCG) program, has increased its workforce from 25 to 65, and sales from $11 million to $20 million.
In 2007 we expect sales to top $30 million because we've won a major contract with Angola Airlines, said American General Supplies Chairman and President Kassa Maru. We absolutely could not have grown to where we are today without the assistance of Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee. Before using it we only were able to handle much smaller projects, but today, because of this assistance, we're about to handle a transaction of millions of dollars.
A top Ex-Im Bank priority is to strengthen support for U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa, both to facilitate economic development in the region and to create and sustain U.S. jobs, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. American General Supplies is an excellent example of what can be accomplished by an innovative small business under our Working Capital Guarantee program. It is a most worthy recipient of this award.
Maru started his company in 1982 as a supplier of commercial aircraft spare parts to a few flag carriers of national airlines in East Africa. Today, it has diversified, established subsidiaries in New York, N.Y., and Burbank, Calif., and provides services globally. Half of its business is with Africa, with a special emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa, 25% is with the United States, and 25% is with Europe, the Far East and the Middle East.
In addition to supplying spare parts for all types of commercial aircraft, we specialize in Boeing and Airbus series, Maru said. We also provide services in the areas of component overhaul, aircraft and engine maintenance coordination and management, and plan to set up our own repair/overhaul facility.
Originally from Ethiopia, Maru and his family came to the United States in 1977, established his company in 1982, and settled in Maryland in 1985. He and his family now are U.S. citizens.
Ex-Im Bank's 32nd annual conference on April 12 and 13 will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place during the April 12 luncheon program which begins at 12:30 p.m.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to markets around the world, through export credit insurance, loan guarantees, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2006, Ex-Im Bank authorized over $12.1 billion in transactions supporting an estimated $16.1 billion in U.S. exports. For more information about Ex-Im Bank's Annual Conference, including online registration, accommodations, and program details, visit //www.exim.gov/.