OPIC In Action
OPIC?s Access to Opportunities blog
recently featured two small business clients, whose investments overseas drove job creation and equipment sales in the U.S.:
Sambazon Inc. of San Clemente, Calif. was formed in 2000 when a couple of friends traveling in Brazil noticed the local popularity of the antioxidant-rich ašai berry and saw an opportunity to introduce it into the U.S. Read more.
American entrepreneurs build a Mexican food business in Russia using an OPIC loan to fund its expansion, ultimately driving sales of equipment from a supplier in Southern California. That?s the short story behind ZAO Solntse Mexico, a 2007 OPIC loan recipient, which was so successful introducing Mexican food products to Russia that it generated $9 million in revenues in 2010. Read more.
"We know that small firms are at the heart of America?s economy. We need them to be at the heart of the global economy as well." ? Elizabeth Littlefield
Nov. 30 ? Dec. 2: COP-17 Climate Change Conference, Durban, South Africa
Elizabeth Littlefield will attend the conference as part of a high level U.S. government delegation.
Dec. 3?4: World Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa
Elizabeth Littlefield will report on OPIC?s progress towards meeting the agency?s 2011 goals in the renewable resources sector.
Dec. 14?15: International Engagement Conference for South Sudan, Washington, D.C.
The U.S. is hosting an International Engagement Conference for South Sudan. On day two of the conference, Elizabeth Littlefield will moderate a roundtable focusing on private-sector investment opportunities.
OPIC In The News
CSIS: Center for Strategic and International Studies calls for OPIC?s permanent reauthorization
Forbes: An in-depth interview with Elizabeth Littlefield of the Overseas Private Investment Corp.
Fortune: For U.S. Jobs, it pays to look overseas
Wall Street Journal: OPIC balances purpose and profit
National Journal: Profits to be had from Hispanic entrepreneurs venturing south of the border
Earth Techling: Geothermal in Kenya with U.S. Technology
OPIC closed its fourth quarter on September 30th with a flurry of deals, many of which will advance the use of renewable resources and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Southeast Asia to the Caribbean.
OPIC Board Approves $310 Million for Geothermal Project in Kenya
Plant will add new electricity to country?s grid through the use of environmentally-friendly American technology (pictured). Read more.
OPIC Provides $16 Million Loan for Wind Power Facility on St. Kitts
Project will reduce island?s reliance on diesel generation, meet 30 percent of its energy demand. Read more.
OPIC Board Approves $285 Million for Six Impact Funds Catalyzing $875 Million of Investment
Funds will fill financing gaps, introduce innovation to growing sector. ?Watershed day in the evolution of impact investment.? (Elizabeth Littlefield) Read more.
OPIC Provides $20 Million Loan for Office Building Project in Pakistan
Fully-automated building will attract multinational investors, meet an urgent need for top-quality office space. Read more.
OPIC Board Approves $250 Million for 51 Solar Projects in Thailand
First-of-a-kind project partners with local banks to finance multiple plants at same time. Read more.
OPIC Board Approves $150 Million for U.S. Solar Solution
State-of-the-art technology will reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions, create U.S. and Indian jobs. Read more.
Report by OPIC & 30 IFIs Underlines Their Role in Reducing Poverty
Focus on Small Business
♦ Elizabeth Littlefield: Small businesses can be global businesses
As OPIC President and CEO noted recently in The Miami Herald, small businesses can also be global businesses, and their successes abroad can support revenue growth and job creation in the U.S.
In this edition of OPIC?s newsletter, we focus on small businesses and the ways they can benefit from and contribute to international trade. In recent years, OPIC has devoted more of its resources to small businesses, recognizing that these businesses are often particularly challenged to obtain the financing and general support required to enter developing markets overseas. Today, a majority of OPIC?s projects are with small businesses.
Last year, the Obama Administration also stepped up efforts to promote the export of U.S. goods and services overseas, recognizing that the success of American businesses abroad was key to a strong domestic economy. The U.S. National Export Initiative, launched in 2010, aims to double exports by U.S. firms over the next five years, by helping all businesses, and especially small businesses, overcome the hurdles to entering new export markets.
♦ Record attendance at OPIC?s recent Expanding Horizons seminars for small business
OPIC hosted two seminars this fall for small businesses interested in expanding into international markets. Lawrence Spinelli, OPIC?s director of public affairs (pictured), offered an overview of some of the tools available from OPIC and other U.S. government agencies to help small businesses gain access to emerging markets, while other speakers described the benefits of expanding overseas. ?Looking at foreign markets for customers has not been essential for most small and medium-sized businesses, but I am going to suggest that in the next decade it is going to become a matter of survival,? said Jeff Williams, of the Center of International Trade Development in California. Read more.
♦ From Expanding Horizons: ?We have to change our perspective of where our next customers are coming from?
?It is necessary for all small businesses to start looking at the world as a smaller place,? said Ricardo Tejada, Founder and Managing Director of Vnesto Capital, who delivered the keynote address at the Expanding Horizons seminar in Orange County, Calif. in September. Read more.
Don S. De Amicis named OPIC general counsel
Don S. De Amicis joins OPIC from the international law firm Ropes & Gray LLP, where he had worked since 1983, most recently serving as senior partner. Based first in Washington, D.C. and then Boston, his practice focused on four principal areas?finance, restructuring, corporate and international?and his clients included some of the nation?s largest financial institutions and investment funds.
De Amicis, a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College, has long been active in the American Bar Association, where he has served on the Board of Governors, on the Executive Committee of the ABA?s Center for Human Rights, and as chairman of the Section of International Law.