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OPIC Applauds Steps Taken in Congress to Create a Modern Development Finance Institution


February 27, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ray W. Washburne, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution (DFI), issued the following statement after bipartisan legislation was introduced in Congress to create the United States International Development Finance Corporation:

“Today, Congress took the first step toward creating a new, standalone Development Finance Institution to better advance U.S. development and foreign policy goals.  A new ‘DFI’ will enhance America’s global competitiveness and provide us with greater capability to expand our influence and drive economic growth in the developing world. We look forward to working with Congress as this exciting proposal moves forward to reflect the Administration’s view of a DFI with strong links to State and USAID, and to ensure it is positioned for long-term success."

During his November 2017 Asia trip, President Trump committed, in a speech, to reforming U.S. development finance institutions and highlighted the importance of development finance and mobilizing the private sector in the National Security Strategy. This new DFI is a tangible result of the President’s Executive Order on the Comprehensive Plan for Recognizing the Executive Branch, which called for streamlining the government and improving its effectiveness.

The FY19 Budget proposes consolidating the various United States Government development finance functions, such as OPIC and USAID’s Development Credit Authority, to create a new stand-alone DFI with strong linkages to foreign policy and development goals. The DFI will have expanded but streamlined capacity – including a request for $96 million in administrative expenses and $38 million in additional programming funds – as well as various reforms to enhance taxpayer protections.

The objectives of the new DFI include: 1) Advancing U.S. government development and national security objectives; 2) Catalyzing private sector investment; 3) Benefiting the U.S. economy; and 4) Operational efficiency and effectiveness.

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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.

OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.