FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 16, 2020
Office of Communications (202) 565-3207
WASHINGTON – The Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee (SAAC) of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) met today in a public virtual meeting, which included U.S. government interagency colleagues in attendance. This was the Committee’s fourth meeting over the past year.
SAAC Chair Daniel Runde convened the meeting to discuss how EXIM can be more effective in the healthcare space with respect to the issues facing Africa due to COVID-19. EXIM Chief Banking Officer Stephen Renna discussed swift actions taken by EXIM to assist U.S. companies and workers as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery, including waivers, deadline extensions, streamlined processing, and flexibility for its working capital loan guarantee and export credit insurance programs. EXIM Counselor to the Chairman and Senior Vice President for the Program on China and Transformational Exports David Trulio reviewed the implementation of the agency’s new “Program on China and Transformational Exports.”
“We’re all facing a global health-care crisis, so it’s great to hear the opportunities EXIM is putting forward with respect to the liquidity gap,” said Whitman. “That encourages us as we continue to move forward with respect to our development status in several countries. We hope to partner with EXIM to increase access to high-quality care around the globe.”
During the meeting, EXIM Director of Africa Rick Angiuoni updated the SAAC on the impact of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa and EXIM’s outreach in the region, including over 40 high-level engagements and over 100 staff-level calls. Angiuoni also updated the committee on potential opportunities for EXIM deals in sub-Saharan Africa. Andy Whitman, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Marketing Development at Varian Medical Systems, and Luis Arguello, CEO at DemeTech, underscored the opportunities in Africa and said EXIM should continue to be highly engaged in supporting U.S. exporters.
“Sub-Saharan Africa has ten of the fastest-growing cities in the world. As such, Africa must increase its infrastructure, including hospital facilities. EXIM is poised to play an integral role in this growth and will help bring about opportunities in Africa and generate jobs in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa,” said EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed. “I thank our outstanding Committee members for the work they have done over the last year to promote EXIM’s engagement in sub-Saharan Africa.”
“COVID-19 has had a drastic effect on Africa’s economy, and ensuring that future investment in the region is fair, reciprocal, and in the interest of the United States is crucial,” said Chair Runde. “EXIM’s COVID-19 relief measures and Program on China and Transformational Exports will ensure that U.S. businesses like DemeTech and Varian Medical Systems can compete on a level playing field as they export their products to the region.”
“Sub-Saharan Africa has about 11 percent of the world’s population but only spends about one percent of the global health expenditure. Tremendous need on one hand, presents opportunity on the other for American manufacturers of quality medical and health care products, to help African nations address the COVID-19 pandemic now and beyond,” said EXIM Board Member Judith D. Pryor. “These opportunities are win-wins for American workers and foreign buyers, with EXIM ensuring American exports can compete fairly overseas and improve health outcomes for Africans.”
The 11-member SAAC advises EXIM on the development of policies and programs to boost U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa and support American jobs related to those exports. EXIM also engages on sub-Saharan Africa issues through the Prosper Africa initiative, a whole-of-government economic effort to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa. Launched in 2018, Prosper Africa brings together the resources of more than 15 U.S. government agencies, including EXIM, to unlock opportunities to do business in Africa and advance American and African prosperity and security, support jobs, and demonstrate the superior value of transparent markets and private enterprise for driving growth.
EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to support sales of U.S. goods and services to international buyers. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.
For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.