AEP Plans Trade Missions to Canada, Brazil and the UK

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 20, 1999 -- If U.S. companies want to increase sales and remain competitive, they should consider doing business abroad, said a West Virginia business owner shortly after completing a trade mission in Mexico with American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP). AEP sponsored the trip to Mexico City and Monterrey last month through its Going GlobalSM export assistance program. Going Global is designed to help industrial customers grow and remain healthy through increased international sales. Program participants are paired with prospective customers and marketing agents in other countries. The 1999 Going Global season wraps up this fall with trade missions in Canada, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Registration is closed for the Canada trade missions to Montreal and Quebec City on Sept. 13-18. Going Global travels to Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Oct. 4-8. Registrations are being accepted through July 30. Going Global will make its final trade mission in the United Kingdom on Nov. 13-20. The mission is a joint effort between AEP and the British-American Chamber of Commerce. The registration deadline is Aug. 30. During a trade mission in June to Mexico, Tom Moore, president of The Moore Co. Inc., said he identified potential distributors in the northern, central and southern regions of Mexico. The Charleston-based company has 14 employees and manufactures the Locker Basket System, a clothes storage system for industries whose workers are exposed to heat, dampness, dust or contaminated working environments. Moore already sells his product in more than 15 countries. "Companies that fail to export will find themselves competing in their own backyards against people from other countries. They are missing a very good opportunity, and it's their future they're investing in. The Going Global program will help to hold the hands of anyone new to exporting or new to market," said Moore. Al Kotnik, president of Findlay, Ohio-based MLS Inc., said the trade mission to Mexico "exceeded everything that I expected 100 times over. We thought if we were lucky, we would get one good prospect and instead, we ended up with at least six. It would have taken my staff more than two years to organize a trip like that and get the same results. " MLS builds assembly and metal forming equipment for automotive and appliance manufacturers. The company has 68 employees. AEP sponsored several other customers on the trade mission, including Artomick International Inc. of Columbus; Microcom Corp. of Westerville, Ohio; Tri-M-Mold of Stevensville, Mich.; and Wayne Metal Protection Co. Inc. of Fort Wayne, Ind. Wayne Metal has participated in several Going Global programs. "Our customers have reported great successes from their trade mission experiences," said Christine Sorg, AEP's international development manager. "The export program is just one of the ways AEP tries to help its customers remain competitive." Further information on the Going Global program is available by calling Sorg at 614-883-7722. AEP is one of the United States' largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas.

For More Information, Contact: Jeri Waters Media Relations American Electric Power 614/223-1917

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