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NORTHWEST TEXAS INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER BECOMES EX-IM BANK CITY-STATE PARTNER

Enhanced Financing Support For Northwest Texas Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 14, 2003

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3206

The Northwest Texas International Trade Center, Lubbock, Tex., can provide strengthened support for Northwest Texas businesses seeking to sell their products in foreign markets through its new partnership with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

The Center has joined Ex-Im Bank's City-State Partners Program, a national marketing initiative that brings export financing services to small- and medium-sized U.S. companies through cooperation with state and local government offices and private sector organizations.

Small businesses hold the greatest potential for American job and export growth, said Mike Spivey, Ex-Im Bank director of business development. Our partners ensure these small businesses have the same expertise and export opportunities as large companies and foreign competitors.

The key to success in the global marketplace is being able to offer competitive financing options to foreign buyers, and having available working capital to produce the goods for export, said Pat Helton, executive director of the Northwest Texas International Trade Center. This new relationship with Ex-Im Bank opens the door for Texas businesses to take full advantage of the valuable plans and programs that will allow them to be more competitive in export markets.

As a City-State Partner, the Center can walk local businesses through the process of applying for a wide range of Ex-Im Bank financing tools including working capital support and export credit insurance and guarantees that will enable them to better compete in growth markets abroad.

In fiscal year 2002 the Center supported $91.4 million in international trade transactions. The Center was the recipient of the President's E award for its significant contribution to the increase of U.S. exports. It has assisted Texas businesses in exporting over $300 million dollars of goods and services since 1994.

Ex-Im Bank trains its partners to market Ex-Im Bank's products to local businesses and lenders, teach seminars, advise exporters and lenders, and package loan transactions for lender approval. Companies needing financing assistance should contact Didier Ray Laurent, director of trade finance at the Center at 806-745-3973 ext. 202.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world by providing loans, guarantees and insurance. Over the past five years, Ex-Im Bank helped 847 Texas companies in 136 communities export $7.3 billion in goods and services. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank supported $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.