After backing a loan in May to a Cambodian firm for the first time, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) said it is looking forward to continue facilitating purchases of equipment and business deals between US and Cambodian companies.
Speaking at a luncheon yesterday organised by the American Chamber of Commerce and the US Embassy, Douglas Frye, senior loan officer at EXIM, said the bank is “open for business in Cambodia”.
“EXIM Bank is interested in working with Cambodia’s banking sector and bankable corporates to facilitate the purchases of quality US equipment and services for projects in Cambodia’s agricultural, renewable energy, and health care sectors,” Mr Frye said.
He said the bank aims to be flexible in structuring the financing they will offer Cambodian companies.
EXIM is a government agency that provides loan, guarantee, and insurance products to aid the export of American goods.
Since its founding in 1934, EXIM has supported more than $600 billion in US exports in key industrial sectors in the US, including aviation, manufacturing equipment, heavy equipment and oil and gas exploration and development.
In May, local rice miller Amru Rice became the recipient of the first loan to Cambodia’s private sector guaranteed by EXIM.
“It was our first transaction, we don’t know much about the bank sector here,” Mr Frye said, adding that the bank is now looking forward to cooperate with local banks.
He explained that EXIM will not compete with private lenders in the country, but rather will assume credit and term risks companies are unable or unwilling to accept without support.
Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, said the US agency will likely become an important element within the national economy in years to come.
“Cambodia is not a big purchaser of US goods and service. The trade, in terms of importing goods, is from Asian countries, so I don’t really expect any immediate change in Cambodia’s policy.
“However, as Cambodia grows its economy and there’s more need for medical equipment, airplanes and good quality construction equipment, I think EXIM can play a big role in the future,” Mr Galliano explained.