WASHINGTON (Sep. 30)
Harold F. Linder, president and board chairman of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, today lauded Israeli economic progress at a ceremony marking the final payment of a $135,000,000 loan extended to Israel on January 19, 1949.
Mr. Linder said the bank took great satisfaction in the “minor role” it played in assisting Israel’s development. He said “the Export-Import bank is gratified to see this loan, made 16 years ago, repaid in full, a year before it was due.”
The bank president noted that “in the years since this loan was made, Israel has made truly great strides along the road to international economic independence. And without such progress, the Export-Import Bank would have been hard put to authorize the 15 additional loans which have since financed American exports of equipment Israel needed.” He said that “which have since financed American exports of equipment Israel needed.” He said that “Today Israel is an important customer for America, Just as America is an important customer for Israel.”
Ambassador Avraham Harman expressed appreciation to the bank, stating that the loan was very significant and came at a decisive moment in Israel’s history. He said it was extended at a time when Israel was faced by enormous expenses in maintaining defense, meeting the population increase, and developing agriculture, industry, and trade. The loan helped build up the country and its people, facilitating the growth of Israel’s human resources, said the Ambassador.
The final check, in amount of $60,180.00, was presented by Dr. Jacob Arnon, director general of the Israel Ministry of Finance. He represented Israel Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir. Also participating in the impressive ceremony at the bank president’s office was Nahum Shamir, Israel Embassy Economic Minister, and Ephraim Evron, Diplomatic Minister of the Embassy.