DISASTER MANAGEMENT

COVID-19 Response Efforts : EXIM Board Chairman Addresses CCA

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By Cyber Era Reporter

Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed has addressed nearly 70 Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) members and US and African government officials during the first webinar in a new CCA series entitled “Navigating the Impact of COVID-19.”

Building on key themes presented in her September 2019 remarks to CCA Chairman Reed outlined EXIM’s temporary relief measures to support U.S. businesses and workers affected by COVID-19, including those that export goods and services to Africa during this time of unprecedented global challenges.

Chairman Reed also discussed EXIM’s overarching efforts on doing business in Africa and increasing U.S.-Africa economic engagement. She emphasized EXIM’s role in Prosper Africa, the Trump Administration’s whole-of-government approach to increasing two-way trade and investment in Africa, and EXIM’ charter requirement to expand EXIM commitments in sub-Saharan Africa.

“While EXIM is focused on providing urgent and robust COVID-19 relief measures and flexibility to better assist our customers, we also remain committed to our important mission of supporting U.S. jobs through exports, especially exports to the African continent,” said Chairman Reed. “Corporate Council on Africa President Florie Liser and the entire CCA team serve as an important bridge when it comes to supporting trade, investment, and business success between the United States and the nations of Africa, and I appreciate their engagement with EXIM and other US, African, and multilateral agencies.”

“We were honored to feature Chairman Kimberly Reed of the US EXIM Bank at the first of CCA’s new webinar series on ‘Navigating the Impact of COVID-19,'” said CCA President and CEO Florie Liser. “Our members greatly appreciate learning about EXIM’s programs and initiatives in Africa. We look forward to continued work with EXIM to promote US Africa trade and business engagement.”

Reed also emphasized how EXIM’s historic seven-year reauthorization, which directs EXIM to establish a “Programme on China and Transformational Exports,” uniquely positions EXIM to support US as they compete with China to export goods and services to Africa. The programme directs EXIM to advance the comparative leadership of the United States through direct exports to countries in Africa and around the world in the following key areas:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Wireless communication (including 5G or subsequent wireless technologies)
  • Quantum computing
  • Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage
  • Semiconductor and semiconductor machinery manufacturing
  • Emerging financial technologies, including technologies that facilitate (a) financial inclusion through increased access to capital and financial services, (b) data security and privacy, (c) payments, the transfer of funds, and associated messaging services and (d) efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism
  • Water treatment and sanitation, including technologies and infrastructure to reduce contaminants and improve water quality
  • High performance computing
  • Associated services necessary for use of any of the foregoing exports

Reed also highlighted action taken last week by the EXIM Board of Directors to approve a US$91.5 million renewable energy rural electrification project in Senegal. The project, which will support an estimated 500 US jobs in 14 US states, is expected to bring electricity to approximately 330,000 Senegalese in more than 400 villages, a win-win for an American small business and its workers and the people of Senegal.

Following Reed’s remarks, CAA President Liser moderated questions from CCA members to Reed, EXIM Chief of Staff David Fogel, and EXIM Senior Vice President of External Engagement Luke Lindberg.

Liser also serves as a member of EXIM’s Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee. The Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee will next convene on April 14 as part of an open joint meeting with the EXIM Advisory Committee to discuss EXIM’s COVID-19 relief measures.

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