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OPIC Signs Investment Agreement with Kosovo


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States and the Republic of Kosovo today concluded a bilateral agreement under which the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will continue its operations in Kosovo in light of its status as an independent country.
 
OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi signed the investment incentive agreement at a ceremony at OPIC headquarters attended by Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Skender Hyseni and Minister of Economy and Finance Ahmet Shala, as well as Acting U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jason Hyland.
 
OPIC programs have been open in Kosovo since May 2002 pursuant to an agreement between theUnited States and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Since Kosovo declared itself a republic in February 2008, its independence has been recognized by 60 countries worldwide, including the United States and most European Union members, and yesterday it formally joined the IMF and World Bank.
 
“Having recognized Kosovo as an independent state, it is appropriate that the United States enter into a direct agreement with Kosovo and that OPIC operate on the basis of a new agreement,” said Dr. Spinelli. “We at OPIC look forward to working closely with both U.S. and Kosovo companies to facilitate greater
Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli after signing a bilateral agreement between the United States and Kosovo
Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, left, and OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli after signing a bilateral agreement between the United States and Kosovo.
levels of American private sector investment in Kosovo.”
 
Prime Minister Thaçi said, “We welcome this agreement as a sign of support in the prospective economic potential of Kosovo, and as a sign of security for both U.S. and Kosovo companies investing in our country. We appreciate the support of the United States and OPIC.”
 
Dr. Spinelli noted that since 2002, OPIC had provided more than $10.5 million in financing and political risk insurance to four projects in Kosovo, in the energy, construction and services sectors. OPIC’s current portfolio in Kosovo comprises $4 million in financing support for a construction project.