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OPIC and IFC Expand Cooperation on Agribusiness, Climate Change and SME Finance in Emerging Markets

IFC EVP and CEO Lars Thunell and OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield shaking hands after signing master cooperation agreement
IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell and OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield after signing master cooperation agreement.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 31, 2011 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and OPIC, the U.S. government’s development finance institution, today announced that OPIC has adopted IFC’s Master Cooperation Agreement, making it easier for both institutions to collaborate on private sector investments in emerging markets and particularly in the poorest countries.
IFC mobilizes funding from other financiers to meet the needs of private sector clients in emerging markets. The Master Cooperation Agreement standardizes steps that lenders take when joining IFC to co-finance projects, increasing efficiencies and cutting costs to borrowers and lenders throughout the life of a loan. Lenders who adopt the Master Cooperation Agreement benefit from IFC’s existing syndication platform, deal-structuring expertise, due diligence, and global presence.
“IFC and OPIC share a mission of supporting the private sector in emerging markets, and we have successfully partnered on projects in different parts of the world,” said Lars Thunell, IFC EVP and CEO. “We look forward to deepening our relationship and working together in areas such as agribusiness and food security, climate change and renewable energy, and small and medium enterprise development.”
“OPIC’s partnership with IFC rises to a new level with this agreement, by streamlining our  mutual support for projects in sectors such as renewable energy and  impact investment which are so vital to sustained economic growth in emerging markets,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “We look forward to working more closely and efficiently with IFC and in particular to helping U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets and catalyze revenues, jobs, and growth opportunities at home and abroad.”
OPIC is the eleventh development finance institution to adopt the Agreement. Other signatories are the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), France’s Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique (Proparco); Germany’s Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH ( DEG); the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), the Netherlands’ Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO); the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID); the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTD); and the Development Bank of Austria, Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB), Arab Petroleum Investments Corp (APICORP), and Eurasian Development Bank (EDB).

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit