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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Phil Cogan, (202) 565-3200


SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA --- The heads of the Export-Import banks of the United States and South Korea this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding that pledges cooperation in a number of areas and proposes joint efforts ranging from combined training to potential reciprocal or co-financing.

Philip Merrill, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), and Export-Import Bank of Korea's (KEXIM) Chairman and President Dong-Kyu Shin, signed the document during Mr. Merrill's visit to Seoul.

This agreement will strengthen both of our institutions and benefit the workers of both of our countries, Merrill told KEXIM's Dong-Kyu Shin and others present at the signing. Korea is a vital U.S. ally and a bastion of democracy and prosperity in east Asia. It is also America's seventh largest trading partner, Merrill noted.

The memorandum of agreement proposes establishing a framework for enhanced cooperation in a number of areas, including

  • Strengthening of Institutional Ties, such as joint attendance at workshops and seminars;
  • General Information Exchange, through regular meetings and ad hoc working groups, and training courses and seminars in the banking sector;
  • Cooperation and Promotion, through sharing of resources, experience and expertise;
  • Reciprocal or Co-Financing, where companies located in Korea and the U.S. contemplate entering into export contracts for the supply of goods and/or services to a buyer established in a country other than Korea and the U.S. in relation to the same export transaction. In the agreement just signed, KEXIM and Ex-Im Bank agreed to discuss the establishment of a formal arrangement whereby one party would provide a financing facility for suppliers, borrowers or banks on the condition that the other party guarantees a portion of such a facility.

KEXIM was established in 1976 and since then has endeavored to facilitate the development of the national economy of Korea and enhance economic cooperation with other countries as a financial catalyst.

Ex-Im Bank was established in 1934, and today helps 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.

Ex-Im Bank President Merrill has been on a multi-nation business development trip that included stops in India, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. More information on Ex-Im Bank may be found on the Internet at //www.exim.gov/.