OPIC Visits Colombian Minister of Information, Technology, and Communications
- Meeting recognized $140 million OPIC financing to Avantel, supporting private sector development of Colombian 4G LTE wireless broadband
BOGOTÁ – Colombia’s Minister of Information, Technology and Communications, David Luna, met today with Ms. Elizabeth L. Littlefield, CEO and President Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. government's development finance institution, in order to socialize the contributions that the American Government has made in Colombia's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
As part of the strategic lines defined by Columbia’s “Vive Digital Plan”, in 2014 OPIC committed $140 million in financing to Avantel SAS in order to deploy wireless broadband internet (4G LTE) and fiber optic networks in Colombia.
"We feel privileged to have the presence of OPIC in Colombia and appreciate the work they have done in the country. We believe that technology is a tool for economic and social growth, "said ICT Minister David Luna.
At the meeting, Minister Luna and President Littlefield exchanged views on the important relationship between the increase in broadband penetration and economic growth. Their discussion included a reference to a 2010 World Bank report which states that every 10% increase in broadband penetration accelerates a developing county’s gross domestic product by over 1%.
“Colombia is an important regional partner for the U.S., and OPIC is committed to continued economic growth and development in the country through our support to private sector leaders like Avantel. Through OPIC support, Avantel’s wireless technology will spread connectivity, prosperity, and stability for the people and government of Colombia.” said Ms. Elizabeth L. Littlefield, President and CEO of OPIC.
Ms. Littlefield also congratulated ICT Minister Luna for the progress made in the peace process in Colombia and stressed the importance of communication networks to help generate stability in society.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. 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, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. 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.
All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC helps raise the industry and regional standards of the countries in which its projects operate. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.