OPIC President visits Ukraine to explore investment opportunities
On his first official visit as OPIC President and CEO, Ray Washburne reiterated the Agency’s commitment to Ukraine, a country where OPIC has quadrupled its investment in recent years.
“We’ve got a full pipeline of deals that we’re looking at in everything from health to oil to gas to small business lending,” Washburne told the Kyiv Post.
Washburne traveled to Kazakhstan and Ukraine as part of a delegation led by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. In Ukraine, Washburne met with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, along with the country’s ministers of health, finance and infrastructure, local business leaders, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council and the American Chamber of Commerce.
During Washburne’s trip, OPIC announced financing agreements with two Ukrainian banks, committing a total of $17.8 million to support lending to small and medium enterprises (SME) that are critical to economic stability and job creation, but often struggle to obtain the loans needed to grow their businesses. The loans will seek to reach underserved business groups, including rural businesses and SME farmers who are critical to the country’s food production, but often lack access to financing to purchase equipment for planting and harvesting.
As Washburne noted in another recent interview, “stable economies create stable governments.” By supporting investment in countries like Ukraine that are U.S. foreign policy priorities, OPIC works to foster that stability.
“I came to Ukraine to show that we’re committed to the country,” Washburne said.