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Hagan, Export-Import Bank Chairman Lead Exporter Forum to Help NC Small Businesses Gain Competitive Edge in Foreign Markets


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Jamie Radice (202-565-3200)

Charlotte, N.C. -- Today, North Carolina small business owners learned how to gain a competitive edge in today's global marketplace when selling their goods and services overseas. This export help came from U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (NC) and Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). More than 150 representatives from North Carolina businesses participated in the Exporter Forum hosted by Siemens.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and Suresh Kumar, Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service at the Department of Commerce, also spoke at the forum.

I convened this forum because I want to see the phrase 'Made in North Carolina' all across the globe, Hagan said.Today, North Carolina small businesses received practical advice on how to increase overseas sales of their products and services. We have the best entrepreneurs in the nation. Increasing their exports will lead to a more robust economic future. And that's what I try to do every day that I'm in Washington - I'm fighting for the future.

Chairman Hochberg gave an overview of Export-Import Bank's new Global Access for Small Business initiative, aimed at increasing the number of small businesses across the United States that export goods and services produced by U.S. workers. This is an integral part of the President's National Export Initiative (NEI), led by the Commerce Department, to double U.S. exports by 2015.

With 95% of the world's customers outside the United States, the value of exporting has become increasingly clear, said Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg.Increasing American exports is vital to our economic recovery and we will not reach our export potential without the participation of small business. That is why Ex-Im Bank is committed to growing the number of these companies that use our financing and, in doing so, create, save, and sustain American jobs.

Senator Hagan, a member of the Senate Small Business and Banking Committees, convened the forum to assist North Carolina small businesses in the global marketplace. The event included industry, academic and government experts. On June 13, following today's Exporter Forum, the President's Jobs and Competiveness Council will meet in Raleigh to discuss bolstering America's competitiveness around the world.

Panel discussions at today's event featured success stories by North Carolina small business owners and presentations by regional representatives of federal agencies, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Commerce. North Carolina small businesses also received one-on-one trade counseling with Export-Import Bank experts.

It is fitting that today's meeting is being held at our plant in Charlotte, stated Mark Pringle, Director of Operations for the Charlotte plant. This is an export hub for Siemens. Since 2008, we have exported electric generators and turbines worth more than $615 million to places in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. We expect that number to go up significantly in the future as we expand our operation here to include the manufacture of gas turbines. We will continue to count on our local employees, support from the Export-Import Bank and the strong chain of local and regional businesses that are helping us do this.

Global Access is supported by a wide variety of business and financial and government partners, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the Bank's 60-plus city/state partners located throughout the U.S. This year, Export-Import Bank plans to hold more than 20 Global Access forums around the country.

The Export-Import Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. It has generated $3.4 billion for U.S. taxpayers over the past five years. For the first half of FY2011, Export-Import Bank completed $13.4 billion in total authorizations. This supported $15.9 billion in exports and more than 115,000 U.S. jobs, a 14 percent increase in jobs supported over the first half of 2010. These strong financial results put the Bank on a path to its third consecutive record-breaking year. For more information, visit Export-Import Bank's Web site at www.exim.gov.