Ex-Im Bank keen on cashing in India's infra needs

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Washington, Dec 22: The US Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) is eager to partner with business, government and financial institutions in India as its fast-growing economy carries out plans to invest more than 500 billion dollars in infrastructure development by 2012.

''The opportunities for US companies to collaborate in this ambitious effort are significant,'' Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H Lambright said. Ex-Im Bank can help finance India's purchase of top-quality US goods and services, including licensing technology, for a wide range of projects, Mr Lambright added. Projects include airport construction, power generation, renewable energy, refining, port, railway and road construction, telecommunications, corporate aircraft and helicopters, and medium-sized corporate transactions.

Ex-Im Bank officials have made several trips to India recently, including Mr Lambright's visit Oct 28-Nov 3 to participate with US Treasury Secretary Henry M Paulson in the US-India CEO Forum Infrastructure Investment Conference in Mumbai.

In addition, Ex-Im Bank staff recently visited seven cities, conducted in-depth meetings with senior government officials, private companies and financial institutions, and provided training for US government agencies and Indo-American trade groups.

''We have found wide-ranging and strong interest among Indian financial institutions and project sponsors on a number of long-term projects across a range of sectors,'' Mr Lambright said. Mr Lambright stateted the the bank was looking to partner with the Indian counterparts as well as other US federal agencies to expand its exposure in India on behalf of US exporters.

Ex-Im Bank anticipates follow-up trips to India in early 2008, as well as reverse trade missions to the US to connect Indian buyers with US companies. Earlier this year, Ex-Im Bank supported a 500 million dollars loan to Reliance Petroleum Ltd, to help finance the development of a its new refining facility in Jamnagar.

During the past two years, it also provided over 2.3 billion dollars in financing to support the export of Boeing aircraft to Air India and Jet Airways. Ex-Im Bank is in its 73rd year of helping finance the sale of US exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world.

In fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im Bank authorized 12.6 billion dollars in loans, guarantees and export credit insurance to support an estimated 16 billion dollars of US exports.

UNI

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