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Where to go for International Business Financing

The ability to get competitive financing can mean the difference between keeping and losing a new business opportunity. The absence of an adequate trade finance infrastructure is a barrier to trade. Limited access to financing, high costs and a lack of insurance and guarantees are likely to hinder the trade and export potential of an economy, and particularly that of small and medium-sized companies.

Whether you invest overseas, manage risk associated with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or require pre-shipment financing such as working capital to support your trading activities, the Africa Trade Office can assist you. We can also assist you with financing the cost of raw materials, or post-shipment financing such as offering attractive payment terms to your foreign buyer, buyer credit, supplier credit, export credit insurance and export guarantee.

With its dedicated and experienced staff, the Africa Trade Office will help identify your business needs and assist you in meeting your needs by working closely with the local commercial banks and various federal government agencies. We can structure and secure a deal for your business. For additional information, visit the following links:

The Export-Import Bank of the United States: www.exim.gov
The Small Business Administration: www.sba.gov
Overseas Private Insurance Corporation: www.opic.gov
Commodity Credit Corporation at USDA: www.fsa.usda.gov
United States Agency for International Development: www.usaid.gov
United States Trade and Development Agency: www.ustda.gov
Millennium Challenge Corporation: www.mcc.gov

The Export Import Bank of the United States

Established in 1934, The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank's mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. 

Ex-Im Bank enables U.S. companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that helps to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.

Through its multiple programs, Ex-Im bank provides pre-export financing and buyer financing facilities. Under its working capital guarantee program, the bank provides pre-export financing to small and medium size companies.

Under its insurance program, the bank provides short-term accounts receivable insurance for both lenders and exporters. The coverage is for commercial and political insurance. Under its medium term guarantee program, Ex-Im Bank provides financing for buyers of US capital equipment.  

For further information, please refer to Ex-Im Bank’s website at www.exim.gov.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Established in 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) helps U.S. businesses invest overseas and, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets.

This government agency facilitates U.S. investment and participation in projects by providing political risk insurance, project finance, and investment funds. Under its political insurance program, OPIC protects U.S. investors from risk of unfair interference, currency inconvertibility, expropriation, nationalization or confiscation and political violence, including terrorism.

OPIC also provides medium to long-term financing through government guarantee programs or direct loans to eligible projects and support for privately owned and managed funds.

For program description visit www.opic.gov.

Commodity Credit Corporation

The Commodity Credit Corporation (“CCC”) is a Government-owned and operated entity that was created to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices. CCC also helps maintain balanced and adequate supplies of agricultural commodities and aids in their orderly distribution.
The CCC Charter Act, as amended, aids producers through loans, purchases, payments, and other operations; and makes available materials and facilities required in the production and marketing of agricultural commodities. The CCC Charter Act also authorizes the sale of agricultural commodities to other government agencies and to foreign governments and the donation of food to domestic, foreign, or international relief agencies. CCC also assists in the development of new domestic and foreign markets and marketing facilities for agricultural commodities. For Further information, please visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

U.S. Agency for International Development

The United States Agency for International Development (or USAID) is an independent agency that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. USAID advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade; health; democracy, conflict prevention, and humanitarian assistance.

USAID awards billions of dollars in federal contracts and grants. Contracts are awarded primarily for technical assistance but also for commodities and/or equipment, transportation services and occasionally, construction.  For further information, please contact www.usaid.gov.

Millennium Challenge Corporation

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC):  In January 2004, Congress established the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to administer the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) for foreign assistance. MCC’s mission is to reduce poverty through sustainable economic growth in some of the world’s poorest countries that create and maintain sound policy environments. Some facts on MCC’s investments in Africa:

As of 2012, 14 of the 25 MCC Compacts Accounts around the world are in Africa, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal and Tanzania. MCC compacts in Africa total nearly $5.5 billion, about 70 percent of MCC’s total compact portfolio. For further information, please refer to www.mcc.gov

United States Trade Development Agency

The United States Trade and Development Agency is an independent agency of the federal government of the United States. The agency advances economic development and US commercial economic interests in developing and middle income countries. It funds technical assistance and feasibility studies that support the development of modern infrastructure; fair and open trading environments. It focuses on economic sectors that may benefit from US exports. USTDA's program benefits a variety of U.S. companies. From consulting firms to exporters, USTDA offers opportunities for U.S. businesses of every size to expand their reach into global markets. For additional information, please refer to www.ustda.gov.