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SOUTHEAST AND CENTRAL EUROPE FINANCE CONFERENCE IN BLED, SLOVENIA TO ADDRESS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN REGION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 6, 2003

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Washington, D.C., Marianna Ohe or Andrew Yarrow, 001.202.565.3200 - Zagreb: Margaret Kostic, Ex-Im Director, S.E. Europe, 385.1.661.2447

WASHINGTON, DC ---The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) will host a conference October 15-17, 2003, at the Grand Hotel Toplice in Bled, Slovenia, for companies and individuals interested in learning more about doing business through Ex-Im Bank in Southeast and Central Europe.

The conference will feature more than a dozen workshops and roundtable discussions with U.S. and Southeast Europe government and business leaders. Speakers are to include Ex-Im Bank President and Chairman Philip Merrill; the Ministers of Finance of Romania and Slovenia; other leading government officials from Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Albania; U.S. government officials from the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, as well as the Trade and Development Agency (TDA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and Ex-Im Bank; and banking and business leaders from Southeast and Central Europe.

Ex-Im Bank provides export financing for the region because trade provides goods and services that people need and it raises living standards, Merrill said. I'm pleased to say that Ex-Im Bank is open for business in every country in the region. In Southeast Europe, we have supported $1.2 billion in U.S. exports since 1998, and we have helped finance another $250 million in exports to Central Europe.

The conference will address sectors such as transportation, telecommunications, municipal infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises, oil, gas, energy, tourism, environment, and finance. It will focus on business opportunities in the following markets: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia.

The conference will provide U.S. exporters, investors, foreign buyers, local government officials, commercial banks and companies with information on U.S. government export finance and investment programs. Panels and workshops will focus on U.S. government trade finance, regional export credit agencies, the macroeconomic overview, and specific sectors and countries. Attendees can also arrange one-on-one meetings with U.S. government experts on various finance programs.

For more information, call (202) 565-3556 or visit the Ex-Im Bank Web site at www.exim.gov.

As the official U.S. export credit agency, Ex-Im Bank helps finance the sales of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets, by providing guarantees, export credit insurance, and loans. In fiscal year 2003, which ended Sept. 30, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support nearly $13 billion of U.S. exports.