Key Agencies and Organizations
In the wake of Asia's economic growth, environmental improvement is being included as a feature in the development of many infrastructure and industrial projects. Recognizing the increasingly important role that U.S. environmental technologies and services play in these projects, several U.S. Government agencies, including the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Eximbank), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Commerce (DOC), the Trade and Develop-ment Agency, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide financing programs to assist U.S. companies in their environmental export activities. Several other bilateral and multilateral development agencies such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also provide trade and project financing in developing countries.
U.S. Department of Commerce
DOC encourages, serves, and promotes U.S. international trade, economic growth, and technical advancement through the International Trade Administration (ITA). DOC assists U.S. companies in targeting financial assistance programs and provides counseling on multilateral development bank operations, programs, and resources supporting exports of environmental technologies.
U.S. Agency for International Development
USAID offers loans and grants on concessional terms to less developed countries to further development plans in eligible recipient countries. A variety of USAID programs help U.S. firms take advantage of international environmental market opportunities. Led by USAID, the United States-Asia Environmental Partnership (US-AEP) seeks to address Asia's environmental problems through the sharing and promotion of U.S. experience, technology, and practice. Private-sector involvement is key to this initiative. US-AEP coordinates the efforts of 25 U.S. Government departments and agencies and thousands of business and nongovernmental organizations.
Export-Import Bank of the United States
To facilitate export, Eximbank offers financing support to foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services. Eximbank's loan guarantee and insurance programs help U.S. exporters compete in overseas environmental markets. Eximbank also holds regular seminars and group briefings on international finance and the organization's assistance programs.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
OPIC encourages and assists U.S. private investment in eligible developing countries. It finances investments through direct loans and loan guarantees, provides political risk insurance, and offers investor advisory services. These programs, which must involve U.S. investment, are available for new environmental projects or expansion of existing facilities.
Small Business Administration
SBA offers financial assistance, counseling, export workshops, and training for U.S. exporters. SBA helps firms enter international environmental markets by providing loans and loan guarantees for equipment, facilities, materials, and working capital, and business development support for selected export market development activities. International trade officers located in districts throughout the United States can refer small businesses to SBA, state, and federal resources.
Financing, Investment, and Insurance Programs
Multilateral Development Bank Operations — ITA/DOC
Multilateral Development Bank Operations (MDBO) is the central repository within ITA responsible for providing the U.S. exporting community with comprehensive information on all multilateral development bank programs and procurement opportunities for infrastructure and privatization projects in developing countries. Contact: Multilateral Development Bank Operations, (202) 482-3399.
Export Financing Hotline
Through its special toll-free number, Eximbank provides information on its export credit insurance and preexport financing through working capital guaranteed loans, and on medium- and long-term loans and guarantees to overseas buyers. Information is accessible through e-mail, from a fax system, on the Eximbank Internet home page, and on a bulletin board service. Eximbank offers briefing programs to the business community, including regular seminars and group briefings offered both at Eximbank and at locations around the country.
Contact: 1-800-565-3947, (202) 565-3946 (Alaska, Hawaii, and District of Columbia); Fax retrieval 1-800-565-EXIM, press 1, press 2; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.exim.gov.
Environmental Export Programs
Eximbank is committed to increasing the level of support it provides to exporters of environmentally beneficial goods and services as well as to exporters participating in foreign environmental projects. Features of the program include the short-term environmental export insurance policy and market-specific financing packages.
Contact: Office of Business Development, (202) 565-3939.
Eximbank Regional Offices
Eximbank regional offices provide services to businesses interested in Eximbank programs. Regional offices are in New York, Miami, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles; Eximbank is also represented at each of the U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs).
Contact: New York: 6 World Trade Center, Ste. 635, New York, NY 10048, (212) 466-2950, fax (212) 466-2959; Miami: 5600 NW 36th St., Ste. 617, Miami, FL 33316, (305) 526-7425, fax (305) 526-7435; Chicago: 55 W. Monroe St., Ste. 2440, Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 353-8040, fax (312) 353-8098; Houston: 1880 South Dairy Ashford II, Ste. 585, Houston, TX 77077, (281) 721-0465, fax (281) 679-0156; and Long Beach: 1 World Trade Center, Ste. 1670, Los Angeles, CA 90831-1670, (562) 980-4580, fax (562) 980-4590.
For the addresses and telephone numbers of the USEACs, call 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723).
OPIC Information Line
OPIC has led investment missions targeted directly at envirotech industries. The OPIC hotline responds to all preliminary inquiries or initial requests for information regarding OPIC programs and services, including investment insurance and finance programs.
Contact: Information Officer, (202) 336-8799, fax (202) 408-5155, fax retrieval (202) 336-8700.
Global Environment Fund
The Global Environment Fund (GEF) seeks to find and invest in innovative companies and projects whose products, services, and technologies contribute actively to environmental improvement. In particular, the Global Environment Emerging Markets Fund, a privately managed $70 million venture, seeks to invest in environmental companies and projects in emerging markets and developing countries. The fund especially seeks coinvestment opportunities with established U.S. companies engaged in joint ventures or other operational partnerships with local firms serving environment-related industries in eligible emerging markets.
Contact: H. Jeffrey Leonard, President, Global Environment Management Corporation, (202) 789-4500, fax (202) 789-4508.
Business Loan Guarantee Program
Financing for fixed-asset acquisition or general working capital purposes may be obtained through SBA. The program encourages private lenders to make loans of up to $750,000 to borrowers who could not borrow on reasonable terms without government help.
Contact: Office of Financial Assistance, (202) 205-6570, fax (202) 205-7064.
Export Working Capital Program
The Export Working Capital Program provides short-term financing to small businesses for export-related transactions. SBA guarantees up to 90 percent of a secured loan or $750,000, whichever is less. Proceeds from the export sales are the primary source of repayment.
Contact: Office of International Trade, (202) 205-6720, fax (202) 205-7064; Internet: http://www.sba.gov/oit. Or contact the U.S. Export Assistance Center in your area.
Small Business Investment Companies
Licensed by SBA, firms whose investment strategies include export activities may receive equity capital or term working capital in excess of SBA's $750,000 statutory limit.
Contact: Investment Division, (202) 205-3644, fax (202) 205-6959.
US-AEP Environmental Technology Fund
An initiative of the US-AEP and the National Association of State Development Agencies (NASDA), the Environmental Technology Fund provides grants up to $20,000 to U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses for the purpose of facilitating the transfer of environmental technologies to the Asia/Pacific region. Environmental activities eligible for a grant include technology workshops or seminars, focused business development missions, and technology and equipment demonstrations.
Contact: Environmental Technology Fund, NASDA, 750 First St. NE, Ste. 710, Washington, DC 20002, (202) 898-1302, fax (202) 898-1312.
International Finance Corporation
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is unique to other multilateral financial institutions in that it lends directly to the private sector (as opposed to the government) of developing countries. There is no standard application procedure for obtaining IFC financing; companies must arrange for a meeting with a project officer or submit a preliminary proposal to the IFC.
Contact: Environmental Division Manager, (202) 473-0661.
Development Project Opportunities
Environmental Information Data Sheets
The World Bank has information on environmental projects to be undertaken around the world available both on-line and at public information centers. In addition, the World Bank lists projects that will be open for international competitive bidding and that are under consideration by the World Bank in Monthly Operational Summary. Contact World Bank Public Information Center, (202) 458-5454, fax (202) 522-1500; Internet: http://www.worldbank.org/ or gopher.worldbank.org.
To subscribe to Monthly Operational Summary, call (202) 473-1155 or fax (202) 676-0581. For more information, contact the Environmental Department Director, (202) 473-3299.
Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral lending organization managed by the World Bank for the United Nations Environment Program. It provides quarterly operational summaries of all upcoming and ongoing projects eligible for funding through GEF. These operational summaries are available quarterly through the GEF secretariat.
Contact: GEF Secretariat, (202) 473-0508, fax (202) 522-3240; Internet: www.gefweb.org
Asian Development Bank
ADB awards projects through a competitive international bidding process. Announcements of project opportunities can be found in a biweekly United Nations’ publication called Development Business or in ADB Business Opportunities.
To subscribe to Development Business, call (212) 963-1515, or fax (212) 963-1381.
To subscribe to ADB Business Opportunities, write Subscriptions - Information Office, c/o Asian Development Bank, 6 ADB Ave., Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.