US Ex-Im Bank, FICCI to expand trade ties

June 24th, 2009 - 12:15 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, June 24 (IANS) The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will work together to expand the trade relationship between the two countries.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg and FICCI Secretary General Dr. Amit Mitra signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a ceremony at Ex-Im Bank headquarters Tuesday.

Also attending the event were FICCI President Harsh Pati Singhania and Minister of Commerce at the Indian Embassy in the United States Banashri B. Harrison.

“Despite the credit crisis, the India market continues to see solid economic growth, and offers enormous opportunities for US exporters large and small in expanding exports and maintaining US jobs,” Hochberg said. “In fact, India, in the future, is likely to become Ex-Im Bank’s largest market.”

Hochberg said the Indian government “recognises that continued investment in critical infrastructure is the clear path to modernization. Ex-Im Bank stands ready to support this development by financing the export of high-quality US equipment, technology and services to Indian buyers.”

He noted that India’s Ministry of Finance estimates more than $500 billion will be needed to achieve this modernization.

The MOU calls on Ex-Im Bank and FICCI to exchange information on business opportunities for US exporters and Indian buyers, and to cooperate on workshops and other initiatives to widen understanding of their respective programmes.

Hochberg said FICCI, with a nationwide membership of over 1,500 Indian corporations and over 500 chambers of commerce and business associations, can greatly widen Ex-Im Bank’s access to the India market. “And we at Ex-Im Bank will do everything we can to help increase FICCI’s access to US exporters.”

Recent Ex-Im Bank financing of US exports to India has included a $2.1 billion long-term loan guarantee for National Aviation Company of India Limited to buy Boeing Aircraft, a $400 million long-term loan guarantee to support US exports for India’s onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration and production, and support for US small business exports for such products as photovoltaic fabrication equipment.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the US. Its current exposure in India totals $3.9 billion.

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