OPIC President and CEO Visits South Africa to Promote American Investment
July 18, 2018
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President and Chief Executive Officer Ray W. Washburne visited South Africa this week where he met with local banks to discuss investment opportunities to advance development in the country and highlight OPIC-supported projects. It’s the third stop on a six country trip to promote U.S. investment in the region, strengthen partnerships, and find opportunities to work with regional allies on projects that drive economic growth and stability throughout the region.
Among the projects Washburne visited was OPIC-supported SA Taxi which provides loans to entrepreneurs operating minibuses in South Africa. The minibuses are a key part of the South African transportation sector where approximately 67 percent of all travel in South Africa is on a minibus. Each vehicle is a small business which supports the operators, their families and their communities.
Washburne met with a number of innovative American businesses and investors including Infrasalience, a company established by American entrepreneurs. The company has developed mobile green chemical plants which profitably transforms air pollution and waste water into sustainable green chemicals. By establishing a process to recycle and reuse industrial and infrastructure waste while simultaneously creating jobs, the company is helping to bring American ingenuity and business values to emerging markets.
Washburne is traveling to Africa to explore investment opportunities and to highlight OPIC's new Connect Africa initiative to invest more than $1 billion in transportation, technology and value chains on the continent. Earlier this month, Washburne earlier traveled to Zambia and Rwanda where he visited American coffee processing facilities and met with heads of state. His travel on the continent will continue to Botswana, Uganda, and Kenya where he will meet with senior government officials and visit OPIC supported projects.
Africa is a longstanding priority for OPIC and accounts for about one-quarter of the agency's $23 billion global portfolio.
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.
Learn more about OPIC's Connect Africa Initiative
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.