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Speeches and Testimony

OPIC President & CEO Ray W. Washburne

President's Report to the Board

As prepared for delivery

December 13, 2018

Thank you for being here today. I am pleased to present this President’s Report to the Board.

This is a historic moment for OPIC. After we last convened, Congress passed – and President Trump signed into law - the BUILD Act, launching a new era in U.S. development finance. The new, modern U.S. International Development Finance Corporation will have greater tools and flexibilities that will enable the U.S. to continue OPIC’s tradition of mobilizing private investment in emerging markets, while having an even greater impact around the world.

Experts are calling passage of the BUILD Act the biggest advance in U.S. development policy in 15 years. This landmark achievement followed months of close work with the Administration, Congress and OPIC stakeholders.

This incredible support illustrates the growing understanding of the importance of development finance. At a time when developing countries are incurring dangerous levels of Chinese debt, our private sector-led model seeks to build stable and prosperous societies, reduce dependence on foreign aid and develop critical infrastructure that is built to last.

Shortly you will hear from Executive Vice President David Bohigian on how we are preparing to transform OPIC into the new DFC.

This remarkable work was achieved during a year when OPIC also continued its brisk pace of approving new development projects and made rapid progress on several new initiatives from Latin America to Africa to the Indo-Pacific:

  • We approved a total of $3.3 billion in finance and insurance -- from energy to clean water, infrastructure, agriculture and financial services.
  • After launching the 2X Women’s Initiative last March, we surpassed our initial targets to mobilize $1 billion of investment to support the world’s women.
  • We also dramatically increased investments in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, with more than $1 billion mobilized through the Northern Triangle initiative to mobilize investment as a stabilizing force in Central America.
  • We committed to invest $1 billion in Africa over the next three years through the Connect Africa Initiative.
  • We launched a new venture capital program to support emerging entrepreneurs in the developing world.

And for the 41st straight year we continued operating as a self-sustaining U.S. Government Agency that generates income for deficit reduction.

It’s been extremely gratifying to lead a U.S. Government agency that partners so effectively with the private sector to advance development around the world, and to see the strong bipartisan support for development finance as a tool to advance American competitiveness and foreign policy.

As we look forward to many more successful years as the DFC, I want to thank everyone from the OPIC team, our Board, to all of our partners and stakeholders, for helping us support so many projects that are improving lives and advancing stability around the globe.

Thank you. And I wish you and all your families a happy and healthy holiday season.