US Export-Import Bank sees India biggest borrower

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Bangalore, Aug 18 (UNI) India is expected to emerge as the biggest borrower of the Export-Import Bank of the United States in the next two years, Bank Vice President Raymond Ellis said today.

Speaking at an interactive session, hosted by CII Karnataka Chapter here, he said Indian government and companies, both in private and public sector, had been the third biggest borrowers from the bank that provides capital exports from the US.

''We see India, with a borrowing of USD 3.5 billion at present, as a main driving force for US exports in the near term and it is likely to take over from the top two borrowers - Mexico and China.

We expect India to reach the figure of USD five billion in two years,'' he said.

Funding in aviation, oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure and telecom projects would be the lead sectors that would attract the US government's official export credit agency the most, he said.

Mr Craig O Conner, Director for Renewable Energy and Environment Exports, said India had the potential to emerge as the major producer of wind and solar energy and the bank would focus on these areas.

''The Indian corporate can get funds carrying lower interest rate than what the US companies would pay. We have funded 65 renewable energy projects worth 1.27 billion USD. Under environmental exports programme the bank offers 15-years repayment terms,'' he said.

The Ex-Im Bank had approved a 2.45 billion USD support to the country's infrastructure projects and capital goods purchases.

The Indian financial institutions like Power Finance Company, Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation, IDBI, India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited, SBI, PNB, ICICI, IL and FS and India Renewable Energy Development Agency were the pre-approved agencies participating in the facility.

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