President's Report to the Board
OPIC President & CEO Ray Washburne
President’s Report to the Board
As prepared for delivery
December 14, 2017
Thank you for being here today. I am pleased to present this President’s Report to the Board.
As we wrap up the year, I’d like to give you a snapshot of where we stand. OPIC finished Fiscal Year 2017 with $3.8 billion in new commitments, with a strong focus on advancing foreign policy and supporting American business investment in emerging markets.
This brings our global portfolio to $23.2 billion in 90 developing countries.
OPIC also generated $262 million in 2017 toward deficit reduction and I’m pleased to announce that this year marks the 40th straight year of operating at no net cost to taxpayers.
Finally, I’m thrilled to share that last week OPIC was named the #1 place to work among small government agencies. This is no doubt a testament to the incredible staff we have here at OPIC. I’m proud to head an agency of such talented, dedicated employees. It is their commitment and passion that makes OPIC’s work a true success.
Since our last meeting in September, we have a lot of exciting news and developments of interest to the Board.
Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining the US delegation to India to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad. This terrific event brought together some of the brightest entrepreneurs from around the world. This is the first year that the Summit was held in South Asia, and the first time that the Summit was focused on women.
Earlier in November, I had the pleasure of traveling to Japan and Vietnam in conjunction with President Trump’s Asia visit. On November 7, OPIC joined with its Japanese counterparts – JBIC and NEXI – in signing a Memorandum of Understanding highlighting our shared commitment to tackling development challenges and bolstering investment in infrastructure, energy and other critical sectors throughout Asia and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.
In Vietnam, I was joined by President Trump and the Vietnamese President to present a letter of intent to Virginia-based AES. The letter supports the construction of a LNG terminal and power plant in Vietnam, which will provide roughly 5 percent of the country’s power generation capacity and support its continued economic development. This project is in line with OPIC's goal to promote the expansion of LNG markets in the Indo-Pacific region.
Lastly, I am pleased to report that President Trump, in a speech before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit, committed to reforming America’s development finance institutions "so they better incentivize private sector investment" and "provide strong alternatives to state-directed initiatives that come with many strings attached."
We are committed to meeting the President’s call to work collaboratively with our administration colleagues to improve the United States’ use of development finance to advance our foreign policy interests. I will be sure to keep members of the Board updated as this process unfolds.
Under my leadership, we have put an enhanced focus on the important role OPIC plays to advance America’s foreign policy interests, which is why we are taking a strategic approach to where we do business. While we will always continue to do work where there is need, we have identified priority regions and established Task Forces within OPIC to focus on them.
We look forward to reporting our progress and making more formal announcements on each initiative in 2018.
Without a doubt, this has been has been an interesting, and at times uncertain year for OPIC. However, I believe we have come full circle are back on solid ground. As we bring the year to a close, I am very proud of the progress my team made in such a short-time and am excited for the year ahead and all that we will accomplish together.
Finally, we couldn’t do what we do without our Board members. So, on behalf of all of us at OPIC, thank you for your willingness to serve and your commitment to our mission. It’s a pleasure to work with you all.