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INDUSTRY CEOS, INTERNET EXPERTS PREDICT GLOBAL TRADE TRENDS AT EX-IM BANK 2000 ANNUAL CONFERENCE APRIL 12-13 WASHINGTON, D.C.

Record Number of Exhibitors, Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Seminar, Technology Initiatives, Environmental Workshop Featured at Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 6, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

Industry leaders will wax prophetic on future export opportunities and challenges to more than 1,200 US exporters, financiers and foreign dignitaries attending the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) annual conference April 12-13, 2000 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C. Glen A Barton, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc.; Riley P. Bechtel, Chairman and CEO of Bechtel Group, Inc.; Richard Swift, Chairman, President and CEO of Foster Wheeler Corp.; and William T. Archey, President and CEO of the American Electronics Association, will share their views at a CEO Panel at 9 a .m. Thursday, April 13.

The CEO panel is one of many highlights at a two-day meeting featuring an e-commerce seminar examining the Business-to-Business Internet revolution, a seminar on export financing opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, an environmental workshop, and a 50-exhibit trade show of US export and financing products and services. The conference also offers an array of workshops and seminars on Ex-Im Bank financing programs and foreign markets.

Ghanaian Ambassador to the United States Koby Arthur Koomson will speak about the commercial, political and social environment that exists in Ghana to support international trade at a seminar on export financing opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, a region where Ex-Im Bank financing activity jumped 11-fold in fiscal year 1999 to nearly $600 million.

The e-commerce panel featuring Robert Sterling, Jupiter Communications, and Andrew Pincus, general counsel, Department of Commerce, will discuss current trends in online financing including plans to offer loan, guarantee and insurance applications online. Ex-Im Bank customers can apply for Letters of Interest online and in the future will be able to apply for additional financing products via the Internet.

Kirk Robertson, executive vice president, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); James F. Wilfong, assistant administrator for international trade, Small Business Administration (SBA), and Geoffrey Jackson, regional director, US Trade and Development Agency (TDA), will discuss trade financing opportunities at their individual agencies at a workshop Thursday.

An environmental workshop will assess the best policies and practices by industry and international lenders to protect and benefit the environment while participating in projects involving US exports. Presentations will be made by Khalid Farid, executive vice president, ABB Lummus Global, Inc.; Thomas Burr, principal-structured trade finance, Bank of America; and Claudia Saladin, senior attorney, Center for International Environmental Law. Other participants in the seminar are Harvey Himberg, director, environmental affairs, OPIC; David South, vice president, technology & markets, Energy Resources International; Bradford Gentry, program director, environmental law & policy, Yale University; and Lisa Brandon, chief, Environmental Division, Stone and Webster.

Ex-Im Bank also will honor three companies for their contributions to US small business export and job growth: Almond Brothers Lumber Company of Coushatta, LA will receive the Small Business Exporter of the Year Award, Webster Bank, Hartford, CT the Small Business Bank of the Year Award, and Meridian Finance Group, Los Angeles, CA, the Small Business (insurance) Broker of the Year Award.

The Conference's trade show boasts a record 50 exhibits of export and financing products and services by US exporters, US and foreign lenders and financiers, and trade-related government agencies, compared with 30 booths at last year's conference. The exporter equipment exports include a GE CFM 56-3 aircraft engine.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Workshops and Seminars9 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
(complete schedule available at www.exim.gov)
 
Luncheon12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.
 
Workshops and Seminars2:15 p.m. - 5 p.m.
 
Reception, International Ballroom5:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 13, 2000

Workshops and Seminars9 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
 
Luncheon/Awards Ceremony1-2:30 p.m.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports to developing markets throughout the world by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank helped to finance nearly $17 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.