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OPIC President and CEO Ray W. Washburne Testifies Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee


May 10, 2018

 

photo of OPIC President and CEO Ray W Washburne testifying in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, overseas development, developing countries, emerging markets, foreign diplomacy, public private sector investment

 

  • Model of mobilizing private investment is becoming more prominent as the needs in the developing world are “just too great to meet with official government resources.”
  • Increased competition from China and others for influence in the developing world.
  • A modernized DFI – with more tools - will have more impact in the developing world.​​​​​​​

WASHINGTON D.C. – Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President and CEO Ray W. Washburne testified today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on OPIC’s model of financing overseas development and the proposal in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget to create a modernized development finance institution.

“A global competition for influence is on,” Washburne said in written testimony submitted before the hearing. “We have to be engaged in the developing world with a robust alternative to to state owned investments which can leave countries worse off.”

Washburne said that while OPIC’s model of mobilizing private investment is becoming more prominent, OPIC has been operating for years without significant legislative updates.

“As a result, we lack the modern, 21st century mechanisms needed to either compete with countries like China, or cooperate with allies like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan, which are investing heavily in emerging markets.”

OPIC, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, supports investment in emerging markets around the world in projects that advance development and American foreign policy. OPIC operates as a self-sustaining agency at no net cost to taxpayers.

During his testimony, Washburne said that a modernized development finance institution would align closely with the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and American foreign policy.

Washburne’s full testimony is available here

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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 investment 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. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​