The US Ex-Im has the mandate to double the country’s exports in five years and also create jobs, focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Promoting SMEs has hardly been on the radar of US policy-makers in an economy with thriving multinational companies.
From Ex-Im’s perspective, India offers a vast opportunity for investments, especially in infrastructure that would need over $1 trillion between 2012 and 2017. “India could be our largest portfolio in next 12-18 months,” says Hochberg.
Mr Hochberg is keen on shedding Ex-Im’s image as a financier of Boeing aircraft. Of its $5-billion India portfolio, a large chunk of exposure is in aviation.
That is changing, with its exposure gradually rising to other infrastructure segments such as renewable energy. India could emerge as Ex-Im’s largest portfolio for power and infrastructure sectors as well. Solar power is also one of Ex-Im’s priorities: India is targeting 20,000 mw in solar power by 2022. That would translate into a funding requirement of close to $32 billion. “We have no set limits for each country. I am quite optimistic about the role of renewable energy where our portfolio is $80 billion globally,” he says.
The board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) a couple of days ago approved $3.4 billion in financing to support U.S. exports from a wide variety of companies in the aerospace, oil, gas, locomotives, solar-energy and other industries.
The Ex-Im Bank board meeting was held today, September 30, the last day of fiscal year 2011. Most of the transactions given final approval today previously had been reviewed and approved by the Bank’s board in late July and August, subject to a 35-day congressional notification period that ended for each transaction earlier in the week.
“This has been a historic year for Ex-Im Bank in terms of total authorizations and the number of American jobs supported by Ex-Im financing. The Bank has responded to a record level of financing requests this year to provide export financing on behalf of U.S. companies expanding foreign sales and sustaining and creating jobs. We have been able to do this without cost to the U.S. taxpayer,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg.
The bank approved the transaction for $19 million direct loan to support the sales of solar photovoltaic panels from SolarWorld Industries America Inc. in Hillsboro, Ore., and construction services from various U.S. suppliers to Tatith Energies Gujarat Private Ltd. The panels will be used in a five-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic crystalline power project in the state of Gujarat. The transaction is the sixth solar-energy project that Ex-Im Bank has supported in India in FY 2011.