OPIC Landmark Year: $3.3 Billion to New Projects and Expanded Legislative Mandate to Bolster Development Impact
Fiscal year 2018 shows strong progress for key agency initiatives
December 6, 2018
- Biggest advancement in U.S. development policy in 15 years will transform OPIC into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation with modern tools; larger investment cap
- More than $1 billion mobilized in support of 2X Women’s Initiative
- $1 billion mobilized for projects in the Northern Triangle; two-year goal reached in under 12 months
WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, approved $3.3 billion in financing and insurance across 76 new projects in fiscal year 2018 to support economic development in emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indo-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. These OPIC-supported projects will build power plants and other critical infrastructure; expand access to food, technology, housing and credit; and economically empower women. OPIC’s financing will mobilize billions in additional private capital to the developing world.
“OPIC’s support for a wide range of projects - from a geothermal power plant in Honduras, to expanding access to safe drinking water in India, and introducing high-speed internet in several of Africa’s poorest countries - underscores the effectiveness of the agency’s development finance model to mobilize private capital to achieve a positive impact around the world,” said Ray W. Washburne, OPIC President and CEO.
These new commitments were made during a milestone year marked by the introduction and passage in Congress of the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act. The landmark legislation will transform OPIC into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) with more modern investment tools and more than double OPIC’s current investment cap to $60 billion. Experts have called this the biggest advance in U.S. development policy in the past 15 years.
“After a fresh look at development finance, the Administration actively engaged bipartisan leaders in Congress and other stakeholders to move a proposal from the President’s budget to his desk in just eight months. Development finance is now firmly on the U.S. foreign and development policy map. As we transform into the U.S. Development Finance Corporation in 2019, I am confident we will be able to have an even greater impact around the world,” said Washburne.
The enactment of the BUILD Act in October capped a year of many milestones for OPIC. During 2018, the agency:
- Launched the 2X Women’s Initiative and surpassed initial targets to mobilize $1 billion of investment to support the world’s women. The U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Italy, Japan and Germany later established the 2X Challenge, committing to mobilize $3 billion to economically empower women across the developing world.
- Committed to invest $1 billion in Africa through the new Connect Africa Initiative, which will focus on strengthening critical infrastructure, technology and value chains.
- Increased its commitments to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The more than $1 billion in capital mobilized through the Northern Triangle Initiative will help bring greater prosperity and stability in complement to the regional Alliance for Prosperity.
- Formed partnerships with our allies, including an MOU with Japan Bank for International Cooperation and a trilateral partnership with Japan and Australia to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.
- Launched a new venture capital program to support emerging entrepreneurs in the developing world.
- Continued its long track record operating as a self-sustaining U.S. Government Agency that generates income for deficit reduction.
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.