OPIC EVP David Bohigian Visits Sri Lanka to Promote US Investment
October 5, 2018
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) David Bohigian and other U.S. government officials visited Sri Lanka from October 3rd to 5th. The trip promoted U.S. investment in the region and strengthened cooperation with regional allies to drive economic growth and stability. The delegation met with Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera from the Government of Sri Lanka as well as representatives of American businesses active in the Sri Lankan market.
“The United States seeks to build strong, reciprocal, and balanced bilateral trade and investment relationships throughout the Indo-Pacific,” said Chargé d'affaires Robert Hilton. “We work with the Sri Lankan government to ensure that American companies are given the opportunity to compete for government tenders and that tenders are conducted fairly and free from corruption. The United States is the single largest export market for 'Made in Sri Lanka' garments. We would like to grow U.S. exports to Sri Lanka from agricultural products to manufactured goods to software and entertainment.”
OPIC has a long history of partnering with allies in the region and recently signed Memoranda of Understanding with Japan’s Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), and with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“Positioned within reach of one of the world’s busiest trade routes, Sri Lanka is a hub of maritime activity in the Indian Ocean and serves a vital role in the global economy,” said Bohigian. “Investments backed by the U.S. government provide a financially-sound alternative to state-led solutions that lead nations like Sri Lanka into debt traps. OPIC is committed to supporting projects that promote free and open societies while adhering to strong environmental and labor standards. We look forward to partnering with Sri Lanka and other regional allies to identify opportunities for investment in ports and other infrastructure, which will fuel sustainable economic growth, create jobs, and leave countries better off.”
Historically, OPIC has invested $118 million in Sri Lanka and currently has almost $20 million invested across four projects.
OPIC is the U.S. government’s development finance institution. As part of his National Security Strategy, President Trump highlighted the need for a modernized approach by the U.S. government to development finance to help grow aspiring partners, promote economic relationships, and increase investment in regions important to American interests.
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.