[RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has signed a framework agreement that will make it easier for the Bank to help finance purchases of U.S. exports by Chinese government entities. The agreement, signed by Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill and Chinese Vice Minister of Finance Liao Xiaojun at the Ministry of Finance, provides an efficient procedure whereby the Ministry may guarantee payment of obligations of a Chinese buyer of Ex-Im Bank-financed U.S. exports. While this could mean any number of goods, the Ex-Im press release made specific mention of renewable energy. Merrill was quoted saying that the wide range of export to China would include renewable energy technologies and equipment. China is already the world’s largest market for solar thermal hot water technology, and their country’s energy needs are growing exponentially. Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, helps finance U.S. exports by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2004, Ex-Im Bank assisted in financing $17.8 billion of U.S. exports to markets around the world.