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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marsha E. Berry (202) 565-3200

Starting in June 2000, the Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) will dedicate staff resources to Southeastern Europe in order to promote US trade with that region and establish an ongoing relationship with both governmental and private sector officials. The resources for these efforts come under the Support for East Europe Democracy Act of 1989 and will provide for a cooperative arrangement between Ex-Im Bank, the Trade Development Agency and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. This Act was intended to address this type of activity and will allow for regular staff travel to the region. The countries that benefit from this effort are Albania, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia and Romania.

Ex-Im Bank chairman James A. Harmon has asked Margaret Kostic to be the Director of the Southeast Europe Initiative. In making the announcement Harmon said, Establishing strong relationships with the countries of Southeastern Europe is a top priority of Ex-Im Bank and the appointment of Margaret Kostic as the point person for the region is a reflection of that commitment. Margaret will travel extensively in Southeastern Europe to meet with government officials and private sector representatives in order to identify export opportunities in the area. Her knowledge of the region and her understanding of Ex-Im Bank programs makes Margaret a natural for this position. It is my hope that this type of relationship will benefit both U.S. exporters and the people of Southeast Europe.

Ms. Kostic will make her first of many visits to the region in June. During her visit, she will travel to Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. While in the region, Ms. Kostic will use Zagreb, Croatia as her home base.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. During fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion in US exports.