The Department of Commerce has announced it will provide $1.5 million for a program to provide consulting services to help minority-owned businesses in the development of export marketing plans and the identification of potential markets.
The department's Minority Business Development Agency is seeking applications for 15 cooperative agreements totaling $100,000 each from consultants who have experience in providing export management services. The deadline for submitting applications is April 15.
Applicants may include individuals, nonprofit and for-profit firms, local and state governments, American Indian tribes and educational institutions.
Applicants must have existing offices in one of the following 18 cities: Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Md.; Atlanta, Ga.; Miami, Fla.; Detroit, Mich.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, El Paso or Houston, Tex.; New Orleans, La.; New York, N.Y.; Newark, N.J.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco or Oakland, Calif., or Philadelphia, Pa.
Victor M. Rivera, director of the Minority Business Development Agency, said the financial assistance, which is offered under the Export Development Consultant Program, is designed to eliminate some of the major problems faced by minority businesses in the field of international trade, such as inadequate marketing information, inexperience and lack of financing.
Local individuals or firms interested in submitting applications should call the Washington regional office at 634-7897 or Anita Goodman at the agency's headquarters at 377-5776.
Recent agreements by international lending and financial institutions:
International Monetary Fund
* Belize, Antigua and Barbuda recently became members of the IMF. Membership now numbers 145 countries. The total of members' quotas in the fund is 60,684,800,000 special drawing rights.
* The Bank of Central African States, Yaounde, has been named by the IMF as an "other holder" of special drawing rights. This brings to 11 the number of official institutions, in addition to the fund and its 145 member countries, authorized to deal in SDRs. The other institutions designated as other holders are the Andean Reserve Fund, Bogata; the Arab Monetary Fund, Abu Dhabi; the Bank for International Settlements, Basle; the Central Bank for West African States, Dakar; the East Caribbean Currency Authority, St. Kitts; the World Bank and the International Development Association; the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome; the Nordic Investment Bank, Helsinki, and the Swiss National Bank, Zurich.
* The bank has approved support for the General Electric Co., of Erie, Pa., to supply diesel electric locomotives and locomotive components, with an export value of $151.5 million, to Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico. Nacional Financiera, S.A., a Mexican development agency, will finance the transaction with an Export-Import Bank loan of $64.4 million at an annual interest rate of 12 percent; a $22.7 million cash payment, and a $64.4 million loan from a private source not guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank.
* Kaiser Engineering International, of Oakland, Calif., has been awarded a $15 million contract to supply engineering design and project management services for a copper mine in southern Peru. Empresa Minera del Peru will also purchase $45 million in U.S. capital goods for the project, including cranes, belt conveyor systems, crushers and heavy duty trucks from about 25 to 50 major manufacturers and about 1,000 subcontractors. The borrower will make a $9 million cash payment, while the Emport-Import Bank will lend $45 million and will guarantee a $6 million supplier credit. The interest rate on the bank loan and the supplier credits will be 12 percent, with repayment in semiannual installments.Inter-American Development Bank
* The bank recently made a public offering of $100 million of its 15 percent seven-year notes in the U.S. capital market. The notes are due April 1, 1989. The net proceeds from the sale of the notes will be incorporated into the interregional capital resources of the bank and will be used to make loans for economic development projects in its Latin American member countries.
* A $95.5 million loan to Colombia to help finance the construction and improvement of five highways in different parts of the country. The program will involve construction of access roads to relatively unexploited areas of the country which have good prospects for development. It will also provide for alternative access roads to major cities such as Bogata, Cartagena and Villavicencio, in the hopes of alleviating serious urban and traffic congestion problems.