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Illinois Global Partnership and Export-Import Bank of the United States Collaborate to Introduce New City-State Partnership in Illinois; Initiative to Help Illinois Companies Succeed in International Business.

CHICAGO & WASHINGTON -- The Illinois Global Partnership (IGP), the private-public partnership responsible for building the State of Illinois as a dynamic center for global business, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), announced today a new partnership to better prepare companies to enter international markets by signing a memorandum of understanding to take effect immediately. This initiative is a new service offering in the state of Illinois and will help companies increase export sales.

Among its offerings, the IGP provides small- and medium-sized Illinois companies the financial tools they need to be successful in the global marketplace. Ex-Im Bank offers companies those tools - access to working capital and export credit insurance - without restrictions on the size of the transaction. Additionally, this partnership will give Illinois companies the ability to offer tremendously competitive, multi-year repayment terms to international customers of capital goods without funding it directly.

"We are pleased to announce this initiative which will allow Illinois companies, big and small, to use the tools Ex-Im Bank offers to expand their international sales and minimize their financial risks," said Richard Paullin, chief operating officer of the Illinois Global Partnership. "Illinois is one of the nation's largest exporting states, and it's essential we provide this kind of service to our companies to continue these positive results."

In addition to the Ex-Im Bank partnership, the IGP also partners with Coface North America to give Illinois companies access to vital information on the financial strength of their prospective international customer and/or distributor.

The signing of the partnership agreement occurred today in Rockford, Illinois, at an educational seminar conducted by IGP called "Leveraging Financial Strategies for Success in International Markets" for local manufacturers and small- to medium-sized businesses in the surrounding area. The keynote speech, "Ex-Im Bank -- A Valuable Partner for Illinois Small and Medium-sized Businesses Seeking to Compete in the Global Marketplace", was delivered by Linda Conlin, member, Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Washington, D.C.

The one-day seminar features panelists from the public and private sector sharing best practices on the following financial topics: funding export working capital; offering more competitive sales terms internationally, benefits of invoicing in foreign currencies and; reducing corporate tax liability. The seminar is accredited by the Association for Financial Professionals for continuing professional education credits. The sponsors for the event include: Charter One, Coface North America, Datamyne, International Trade Association of Greater Chicago, The Rockford Chamber of Commerce, RSM McGladrey, Surge Capital, Trade Acceptance Group Ltd., and the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Rockford.

"Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantees, export credit insurance and other products have helped hundreds of Illinois companies to sell their products in global markets and add jobs at home," said Linda Conlin, a member of Ex-Im Bank's Board of Directors. "The City-State Partnership that Ex-Im Bank and the Illinois Global Partnership are signing will enable us to pool our respective strengths and reach many more Illinois small and medium-sized businesses."

Today's seminar is one of the many initiatives the IGP has implemented to increase the presence of Illinois companies in global markets. The IGP has also promoted more than 45 Illinois companies at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Show, the largest food distribution trade show in the U.S. and BIO 2006, which featured tours at Illinois "Biotechnology Centers of Excellence."

In this fast-growing global marketplace, the Illinois Global Partnership helps ensure a competitive advantage for the State's already vibrant economy by serving as an advocate for Illinois' diverse industries and resources -- from heavy manufacturing, rich agriculture, transportation and tourism, to high-technology, financial and professional services, and world class research and educational institutions.

About The Illinois Global Partnership

The Illinois Global Partnership focuses private and public resources to build collaborative international partnerships. It is a people-to-people organization working with international, federal, state, and local groups to boost international trade and raise Illinois' profile as a global center of commerce. Established in August 2005, the IGP is a not-for-profit organization with headquarters in Chicago and offices in Springfield, Ill., Hong Kong and Mexico City. For more information, please visit www.illinoisglobal.org.

About The Export-Import Bank of the United States

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 72nd year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world. In fiscal year 2005 Ex-Im Bank authorized nearly $14 billion in transactions supporting almost $17.9 billion in U.S. exports. This represented 3,128 transactions, of which 2,617, or over 80%, directly benefited small businesses.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 8, 2006
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