12/06/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2018 18:51
Fiscal year 2018 shows strong progress for key agency initiatives
December 6, 2018
OPIC President and CEO Ray W. Washburne visits an OPIC-supported agriculture project in Rwanda that will advance the Agency's Connect Africa initiative.
WASHINGTON - The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government's development finance institution, approved $3.3 billion in financing and insurance across 76 new projects in fiscal year 2018 to support economic development in emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indo-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. These OPIC-supported projects will build power plants and other critical infrastructure; expand access to food, technology, housing and credit; and economically empower women. OPIC's financing will mobilize billions in additional private capital to the developing world.
'OPIC's support for a wide range of projects - from a geothermal power plant in Honduras, to expanding access to safe drinking water in India, and introducing high-speed internet in several of Africa's poorest countries - underscores the effectiveness of the agency's development finance model to mobilize private capital to achieve a positive impact around the world,' said Ray W. Washburne, OPIC President and CEO.
These new commitments were made during a milestone year marked by the introduction and passage in Congress of the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development(BUILD) Act. The landmark legislation will transform OPIC into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) with more modern investment tools and more than double OPIC's current investment cap to $60 billion. Experts have called this the biggest advance in U.S. development policy in the past 15 years.
'After a fresh look at development finance, the Administration actively engaged bipartisan leaders in Congress and other stakeholders to move a proposal from the President's budget to his desk in just eight months. Development finance is now firmly on the U.S. foreign and development policy map. As we transform into the U.S. Development Finance Corporation in 2019, I am confident we will be able to have an even greater impact around the world,' said Washburne.
The enactment of the BUILD Act in October capped a year of many milestones for OPIC. During 2018, the agency:
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.