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The Tar Heel Thursday, May 26, 198811
NoC businesses may get boost do foreign mairicet
From Associated Press reports
RALEIGH North Carolina
businesses struggling to solve the
"mystery" of overseas marketing can
get help from state government if the
Legislature approves funds for a new
Export Finance Assistance Office,
said Gov. Jim Martin.
Primarily because of the dollar's
plunge, "the time has never been
better for American businesses to get
into exporting," Martin said.
North Carolina was one of a few
states with a foreign trade surplus the
first three months of this year, he said.
The state's exports exceeded imports
by 14 percent $159.5 million.
North Carolina leads the Southeast
and ranks 14th nationally, exporting
more than $4.5 billion worth of
manufactured products annually.
But many companies have trouble
getting started overseas, Martin said.
"Most North Carolina trade leaders
agree that the problem of export
financing assistance is now the most
significant limitation to North Caro
lina trade development."
The governor announced his pro
posal and proclaimed May 22 to 29
World Trade Week in North Carol
ina" at a news conference with
business leaders and officials of the
state Department of Commerce and
its federal counterpart.
The state program is part of a
national effort called "Export Now."
Monday's news conference featured
film clips of speeches by President
Study finds Dndageimt care bu rdeo
should be split among hospitals
Front Assoctoted Press reports
RALEIGH For-profit hospitals
charge more and provide less indigent
care than nonprofit hospitals in
North Carolina, but they pay sizable
amounts in taxes, says a new report
by the N.C. Center for Public Policy
"Since 1980, more than one-fourth
of North Carolina's 164 non-federal
hospitals have affiliated in some way
with a for-profit corporation," said
Lori Ann Harris, a center researcher
and co-author of the report.
"Because this is such a significant
change in ownership and manage
ment of our state's hospitals, we at
the center decided to see if the for
profits perform differently," she said.
The center concluded that the state
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needs to make available to the public
more information about costs and
charges of health care services and
should develop a policy of allocating
the burden of indigent care among
The center also recommended that
the General Assembly enact a pro
gram to support care of indigent
patients, suggesting three options:
require all hospitals to provide a
statutory minimum amount of indi
gent care; mandate that counties
develop and fund their own indigent
care programs; or assess all hospitals
an amount based on each hospital's
gross patient revenues and use those
assessments for a statewide fund for
The center studied four areas: costs
and charges at the two types of
hospitals; indigent care; taxes; and
In comparing costs and charges,
the center's researchers matched
seven investor-owned hospitals with
not-for-profit hospitals of similar
size, number of employees and
admissions and occupancy rates.
They then used Medicare cost reports
to compare costs to the hospital and
charges to the patients.
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Reagan and other officials endorsing
the program launched on a national
level this year.
The North Carolina Export
Finance Assistance Office, for which
Martin is asking $106,000 in 1988
89 for a three-person staff, would
provide "one-on-one assistance to. . .
companies seeking export finance
credit and related credit insurance,"
Through contracts with the U.S.
Foreign Credit Insurance Agency and
the United States Export-Import
Bank, the office would arrange
foreign credit insurance for qualifying
North Carolina exporters, he said.
It also would work with the state's
financial institutions to "assure
smooth processing of foreign appli
cations," he said. The office would
not be involved in the financing
business itself, but would "act as a
pipeline for foreign credit insurance,"
The most important function of the
new office would be "to take the
mystery out of export financing,"
"By working . . . with individual
firms, the office will help companies
that are new to export find their way
through the maze of foreign trade
financing. For existing exporters, it
will smooth what is sometimes a
Aside from increasing fmancing
insurance availability, the new office
probably will help lower export credit
financing rates, said Bill Dunn,
deputy state commerce secretary.
When fully operational, the office
will "round out a full complement"
of export assistance services offered
by the Commerce Department, Mar
tin said. The department has five
export specialists in Raleigh and has
trade representatives in Europe and
the Pacific Rim.
State Sen. Franklin Block, D-New
Hanover, said last year's $36 million
appropriation to bolster the state's
ports was another important factor
in boosting North Carolina exports.
He urged business leaders at the news
conference to increase their shipping
from the state's ports at Wilmington
and Morehead City.
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