5/4/1998

AEP and Industrial Customers Plan Canadian Trade Mission

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 4, 1998 -- American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and some of its industrial customers will attend a trade mission in Canada as part of AEP’s ongoing commitment to help its customers improve their export sales. AEP is recruiting customers to sponsor at the Sept. 14-17 trade mission in Montreal and Quebec City. Participants will meet with prequalified Canadian companies interested in their products. The Canadian venture is one of several trade missions AEP and its customers will attend this year. Canada was chosen as a site because it is the United States’ largest trading partner, said Christine Sorg, AEP international development manager. Daily trading between the United States and Canada exceeds $1 billion. U.S. products account for 70 percent of the Canadian import market, and with the initiation of NAFTA, American goods to Canada have increased by 30 percent, Sorg said. “The relative proximity to the United States reduces the time and financial investment needed to explore the market. This makes Canada an ideal market for U.S. companies,” Sorg said. Safeware Inc., a Largo, Md.-based distributor of safety products and clothing, attended a trade show in Montreal and Quebec City with AEP last September. The trip was well organized, and the company made several contacts, said Joel Trimble, one of two Safeware international sales representatives attending the trade show. “We had hoped to get people who wanted to distribute our products in Canada. It looks very promising right now,” Trimble said. “We made useful contacts, and I think a couple of them are going to work out for us. We’re negotiating the details now.” Services offered to AEP customers attending the Canadian trade mission include market specific research, transportation, accommodation logistics, program registration and consulting access to a former United States and foreign service commercial officer. Interested customers should contact Christine Sorg at 614-223-4762 no later than June 26. AEP will continue to assist a limited number of customers at trade events in Brazil and Mexico this year as part of its Going Global export program. Remaining trade events include: Hospitalar ‘98 - Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 17-20: South America’s largest exhibition for products, equipment, instruments and services for hospitals and health clinics. Brazil, which has a population of 159 million, has more than 7,000 hospitals and 23,300 health clinics. The registration deadline has expired. Mexico City, Mexico, Oct. 19-23: In 1997, U.S. exports to Mexico reached an annual rate of $68 billion, with Mexico surpassing Japan as the second largest country market. Each company that participates in this mission is expected to receive 10 to 15 prescreened appointments with potential trading partners. Registrations are being taken through July 17. So far this year, AEP has assisted customers at trade shows in Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico. AEP, a global energy company, 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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