The American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana, under the auspices of the U.S. Embassy in Accra, on Monday, October 30, 2023, had an engagement with the President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, Reta Jo Lewis, for a discussion on financing options and the current state of the business climate.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an independent Executive Branch agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.
Reta Jo Lewis noted that the United States views Ghana as a reliable partner for development and intends to expand engagements to drive growth. She noted that the Bank has had a long relationship with the country and the continent at large, and its continued presence reaffirms EXIM and the United States’ commitment to maintaining relations with Ghana.
The engagement explored ways the Bank can assist companies with resources and technical support to leverage opportunities such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act to drive exports.
Discussions also focussed on exchanging best practices to properly position local firms to be compliant to improve the ease of doing business with the United States.
Backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, EXIM assumes credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. The agency’s charter requires that all transactions it authorizes demonstrate a reasonable assurance of repayment; EXIM consistently maintains a low default rate and closely monitors credit and other risks in its portfolio.
EXIM officials present at the meeting also noted that contrary to popular notion, the Bank does not only finance big-ticket projects and companies but serves businesses of sizes, including small and medium-scale entities.
This meeting was attended by AmCham Ghana Board member Kimathi Kuenyehia, Executive Secretary Simon Madjie, Manager for Membership and External Relations, Jane Okyere-Aduachie, representative from the U.S. embassy in Ghana, including DCM Rolf Olson, Commercial Counselor Dean Matlack, Jillian Foerster, Paa Ekow Quansah.
Also present was Nana Osei Bonsu, PEF CEO and Board Member of Ghana EXIM, representatives from AmCham Ghana member companies, and some executives from the U.S. EXIM, including Hazeen Ashby, Acting Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, Christopher Organ, Confidential Assistant, and Dan Tobin, Managing Director.