FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 17, 2004
Phil Cogan or Marianna Ohe, 1-202-565-3200
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN -- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) will offer expanded financing opportunities for U.S. exports to the public sector in Pakistan, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell announced this morning (Mar. 18). Powell's statement came during a morning news conference here with Pakistan's Foreign Minister Mehmood Kasuri.
Ex-Im Bank financing now will be available to support Pakistan's purchases of U.S. equipment and services in cases where repayment of the financing is assured by the sovereign guarantee of the Government of Pakistan.
This is a sign of the increasing importance of business in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, Secretary Powell said.
The expanded coverage, including short-, medium- and long-term financing, is a result of improving economic and political fundamentals and hence a likewise improvement in Pakistan's risk profile.
The upgrade in Pakistan's risk rating is confirmation of positive economic developments that have occurred in Pakistan, including a reduction in external debt, and growth in exports and foreign exchange reserves, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill. This opens the way for expanded trade between our two countries, and Ex-Im Bank is glad to consider sovereign financing transactions in support of U.S. exports to Pakistan.
Although until the Bank's current action, Ex-Im Bank has not been open under its routine programs in Pakistan since 1998, the Bank has approved a limited number of transactions that were specially structured to ensure reasonable assurance of repayment, including a long-term loan guarantee to support the export of three Boeing 777 aircraft to Pakistan International Airlines. While announced today, the action took effect Mar. 11th.
Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 70th 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 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank visit //www.exim.gov.