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US, Japan, Australia Sign First Trilateral Agreement on Development Finance Collaboration


November 12, 2018

photo US Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, JBIC Governor Tadashi Maeda, Australian Ambassador to Japan Richard Court sign memorandum of understanding
Pictured seated left to right: Australian Ambassador to Japan Richard Court, US Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, and JBIC Governor Tadashi Maeda sign memorandum of understanding.

 

TOKYO, JAPAN – Today at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, leaders representing the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and the Government of Australia signed a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This robust partnership is intended to drive economic growth in emerging markets and provide an alternative to state-directed initiatives that can leave developing countries worse off.

The participants will collaborate on urgent issues facing the Indo-Pacific including enhancement of connectivity, shared development objectives, and the promotion of women’s economic empowerment.

“The U.S. government is committed to promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific through investments in projects that adhere to high standards and provide lasting economic benefits,” said OPIC President and CEO Ray Washburne. “By partnering together to address major global economic challenges, our three nations can have a greater impact, particularly as OPIC completes its transformation under the BUILD Act into a new and modern U.S. Development Finance Corporation. Today’s historical signing of this trilateral MOU underscores our collective commitment to support projects like 21st Century infrastructure, energy, and telecommunications to increase regional connectivity, strengthen economies, and address the world’s greatest development needs.”

The signing participants, US Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, JBIC Governor Tadashi Maeda, and Australian Ambassador to Japan Richard Court.

OPIC currently has $4 billion invested across the Indo-Pacific in projects that are expanding access to energy, education, financial services and support local farmers. This trilateral partnership will further mobilize investment in projects that drive economic growth, create opportunities, foster a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

The MOU follows the first trilateral meeting held between the two agencies on July 17, 2018 in Singapore to discuss collaboration and a joint announcement on July 30, 2018 in Washington, DC foreshadowing today’s agreement.

OPIC had previous bilateral agreements with each nation. In November 2017, OPIC signed memorandums of understanding with Japan’s JBIC and NEXI in which they committed to partnering to bolster investment in infrastructure, energy and other critical sectors. OPIC signed a similar agreement with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in February 2018, which also committed to cooperation on shared development outcomes in the Indo-Pacific region in infrastructure, energy and other agreed sectors.

Read the MOU here

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OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.

All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.