OPIC CEO Visits Vietnam and Burma to Develop Private Sector Investment Opportunities in Asia
October 27, 2016
WASHINGTON - Elizabeth L. Littlefield, the President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, traveled to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Rangoon, Burma, to discuss private sector investment opportunities in the region. During the seven day trip, Ms. Littlefield met with government ministers, key party officials, and local and international business leaders. In addition, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Union of Myanmar Federation Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and local business groups held roundtables and other events to discuss the challenges and opportunities for investments in the region.
“It is always great to get on the ground and see firsthand the needs and possibilities of a region,” said Ms. Littlefield. “There is immense potential for high-impact development projects across Asia, especially in clean energy and telecom. OPIC is committed to working with the U.S. private sector to bring growth opportunities to Vietnam, Burma, and throughout Asia’s emerging markets.”
During the trip, the delegation visited Apollo Towers Myanmar Ltd., a project that OPIC provided $250 million in financing for the development of a network of 2,500 telecommunications towers across Burma, one of the last places in the world without widespread infrastructure for this technology. The development of towers by Apollo Towers Myanmar Limited (Apollo) has contributed to an increase in Myanmar’s mobile phone penetration rate from 5 percent to more than 75 percent in the last two years. This financing from OPIC will allow Apollo to continue to grow its tower network and provide voice and data coverage to many areas of the country for the first time.
Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, OPIC has tripled its investment throughout Asia to $3.9 billion, with a third of that active in the Asia Pacific region. The trip demonstrates OPIC’s continued commitment to increase private investors’ awareness of the opportunities for investment throughout developing countries in this region.
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 aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.