OPIC Commits Additional $500 Million for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Latin America
September 6, 2019
ASUNCIÓN — David Bohigian, Acting President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), today joined Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez to announce that OPIC has surpassed initial targets to mobilize $500 million to women in Latin America through its 2X Americas initiative. Underscoring its continued commitment to the region’s women, OPIC also unveiled a new target of an additional $500 million with private sector and U.S. Government partners to encourage investments that meet the 2X Criteria.
Through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed today, Citi, one of OPIC’s longstanding private sector partners and a global financial services leader, will work together with OPIC and other private sector partners to achieve the new 2X Americas target by investing in projects that meet the 2X Criteria in Latin America. In addition, USAID will provide $1 million in technical assistance to ensure that banks receiving OPIC financing through 2X Americas have the resources they need to support female entrepreneurs.
“Surpassing our $500 million 2X Americas goal is an exciting milestone that shows the promising investment opportunity women across Latin America represent,” said Bohigian. “By bringing together OPIC with our private sector partners and USAID’s technical expertise, we can multiply our impact in the region and unleash the enormous potential of women in Latin America.”
“This announcement means that during the Trump Administration, W-GDP and 2X have committed over one billion dollars to help unleash the potential of women entrepreneurs in Latin America," said Advisor Trump. "We know this investment will have a multiplier effect lifting up families and whole communities. We thank all of the incredible partners who are supporting W-GDP’s efforts to reach 50 million women by 2025.”
“At Citi we firmly believe that empowering women’s economic development is both the right thing to do and necessary for global economic growth,” said Jane Fraser, Citi Latin America CEO. “In our more than 100 years in Latin America, we have found immense value in partnering with and funding locally-based organizations and look forward to continuing that work through our partnership with OPIC and USAID.”
The McKinsey Institute forecasted a GDP growth opportunity of $2.6 trillion for Latin America by 2025 if the gender gap is bridged. Launched at the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru in April 2018, 2X Americas aims to unlock this multi-trillion dollar opportunity. The initiative falls under OPIC’s broader 2X Women’s Initiative, a key component of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. Since launching 2X, OPIC has helped pioneer gender-lens investing and set a global standard for investing in women.
Advisor Trump is leading an official U.S. delegation to South America that includes Bohigian, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, and USAID Administrator Mark Green to advance W-GDP. The delegation also traveled to Argentina and Colombia, where OPIC and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed letters of intent to support two investment funds focused on reaching women.
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, and 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.