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New Ex-Im Bank On-Line Service Gives Arizona Small Business International Sales Competitive Edge


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Arizona Instrument LLC, a small business in Tempe, Ariz., will have an edge competing in global markets as the first company to obtain multi-buyer export credit insurance from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) using a fast, new processing system -- Ex-Im Online.

The 60-employee company is one of the estimated quarter of a million U.S. small businesses that export, and thus can benefit from Ex-Im Bank's export credit insurance and working capital guarantee programs.

Arizona Instrument already has shipped moisture analysis and gas detection instruments to European markets under an insurance policy obtained through Ex-Im Banks new on-line application service. Meridian Finance Group was the insurance broker on the transactions.

Arizona Instrument plans to use the policy in selling to Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern markets as well.

If we want to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S., we have to be prepared to sell globally, said Arizona Instrument President George G. Hays. But small manufacturers like us are at a competitive disadvantage in global markets if we cannot sell to distributors and other buyers on credit terms, and assume the risk of nonpayment. Ex-Im Bank insurance enables us to do this, and thus to grow as a business.

Hays expects Arizona Instrument's international sales -- which now comprise 25 percent of the company's revenue -- to double in the next three to five years backed by the Ex-Im Bank insurance. We'll need additional international sales staff and probably also additional manufacturing jobs in the future, Hays said. In addition, the beneficial impact of our growing business will be felt by the dozens of subcontractors that we use, mainly in Arizona.

Ex-Im Bank launched the new interactive web-based service on June 1, 2006, enabling exporters, as well as brokers and financial institutions, to go online to apply for insurance, monitor the status of applications, receive and accept quotes, report shipments, obtain buyer approvals and request policy amendments. Later this year, Ex-Im Online also will include short-term single-buyer and letter of credit insurance, and medium-term insurance and medium-term loan guarantee products.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President (Acting) James H. Lambright said the online service will enable Ex-Im Bank to serve more small businesses and work more effectively with its partners, including lenders, brokers, and City-State Partners.

The service also will reduce paper work, lower costs to customers, improve the quality and timeliness of servicing applications, and free up more staff time for in-depth one-on-one assistance to small business customers who are new to Ex-Im Bank financing products.

Small businesses that are currently exporting and wish to learn more about Ex-Im Bank's online services can contact Ex-Im Bank trade finance advisors who specialize in multi-buyer insurance by calling 800-565-3946, and pressing 2 to reach the nearest regional office. They also can go to www.exim.gov and learn about the new service on-line.

Help is also available from insurance brokers, most of whom have specialized expertise and can offer a variety of services. A list of brokers who are registered in Ex-Im Online also can be found on the Bank's web site.

Arizona Instrument LLC manufactures precision moisture analyzers and toxic gas detectors.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 72nd year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2005 Ex-Im Bank authorized nearly $14 billion in transactions supporting almost $17.9 billion in U.S. exports. More than $2.6 billion of the authorizations, or 2,617 transactions, directly supported U.S. small businesses as primary exporters.