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Exporters to Learn Details of Multi-Billion Dollar African Infrastructure Projects, Hear from U.S. Trade Rep, China Eximbank President, at April Conference in D.C.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2007

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Phil Cogan, (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- U.S. exporters attending the 29th annual conference of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) will gain useful information about billions of dollars in potential export opportunities, including nearly $25 billion dollars in planned infrastructure improvements in South Africa.

Ex-Im Bank's annual conference this year will emphasize sales opportunities for U.S. exporters in key world markets, said James H. Lambright, chairman and president of the Bank. Exporters, both small and large, will be able to identify potential sales, meet with lenders, and receive updates on Ex-Im Bank products.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab has been invited to address attendees, and the conference will also feature keynote presentations by other major leaders in international trade, including a talk by Li Ruogo, chairman and president of China Eximbank in Beijing.

Over 1,000 lenders, exporters and representatives of international trade agencies are expected to attend the event, which is scheduled for April 12-13 at Washington, D.C.'s Omni Shoreham Hotel.

South Africa's plans for major enhancements to the region's electrical and transportation infrastructure will be discussed by Maria Ramos, Group Chief Executive of Transnet, and Brian A. Dames, Managing Director of Eskom.

Transnet is a diversified organization whose sole shareholder is the South African government. It operates and controls the major transport infrastructure within South Africa, including rail transportation of freight, port infrastructure and marine related services, port and terminal operations, pumping and managing the storage of petroleum and gas products and other activities. Transnet's expansion plans, either currently underway or under development, total about $10 billion.

Eskom is a South African government-owned utility that generates, transports, and distributes electricity. It supplies electricity to 95 per cent of South Africa and 60% of the electricity consumed on the African continent. To satisfy growing demands for energy, Eskom has expansion plans either underway or under development valued at approximately $15 billion.

China Eximbank's Li Ruogo and Ex-Im Bank's James H. Lambright signed an agreement in December 2006 intended to increase U.S. exports to China.

The cooperation in sovereign-guarantee financing will help boost exports of advanced technology and equipment from the U.S. to China, strengthen economic and trade ties between the two countries, and will definitely breathe new life into the two economies, Mr. Li said in a statement released in connection with the agreement.

Information about the conference, including online registration, accommodations, and program details, is available at //www.exim.gov/.

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 worldwide.