OPIC Posts Strong 30 Percent Growth Supporting American Businesses Abroad: Helps Reduce Deficit for 35th Consecutive Year
Investments in Africa, Middle East and Renewable Resources Sector Drive Commitments; Majority of Projects Involve U.S. Small Business
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) increased its financial commitments to American businesses investing abroad by 30 percent over the last fiscal year, and marked its 35th consecutive year of reducing the federal deficit, a notable accomplishment among American development and foreign policy agencies.
As the U.S. government’s development finance institution, OPIC committed more than $3.6 billion to development projects in Fiscal Year 2012, advancing U.S. national security and international development goals, while helping U.S. businesses tap into high growth emerging markets and projecting the best of American standards and values abroad. OPIC generated a net income of $272 million.
OPIC investments provided powerful support for the Obama Administration’s focus on the private sector as a critical partner in global development. The agency delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in support of the Administration’s Partnership for Growth and Feed the Future initiatives, was a lead participant in the Administration’s economic response to ongoing events in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Over the past two years alone, OPIC has committed over $6 billion to development projects in emerging markets, catalyzed billions more in private sector finance, all while generating over $500 million for the U.S. taxpayer. We are proud to be part of the Obama Administration’s response to development challenges, to be having a positive impact on the lives of people and the health of the planet, while creating growth opportunities for US companies,” Ms. Littlefield said.
Over the year, OPIC's focus on foreign policy priority regions produced robust results: The agency committed $907 million in loans, guarantees, insurance and investment fund support for projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and over $878 million for projects in the Middle East and North Africa. In Afghanistan, where private investment is key to stability as the US draws down its troops, OPIC has a large and growing $226 million portfolio.
Recognizing that American small and medium-sized enterprises are the primary drivers of the U.S. economy, nearly two-thirds of OPIC projects involved a U.S. small business, helping them tap into growth opportunities in emerging markets and creating jobs both at home and abroad.
OPIC committed nearly $1.6 billion to the renewable resources sector in FY2012, an increase of almost half a billion dollars over FY2011. This includes nearly $1 billion of support to renewable energy projects. A new focus on sustainable agriculture and clean water translated into a dramatic increase in projects designed to improve food security and the delivery of potable water in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe: $575 million of the FY2012 portfolio up from $10 million the year before.
“OPIC’s mandate to mobilize private sector investment is an extremely effective way to drive international development because it applies private market discipline, taps entrepreneurial initiatives and supports U.S. businesses. It is also an extremely efficient way to support international development as it generates income for the federal budget,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 277,000 American jobs.