what we offer

This page is designed to provide a preliminary assessment of whether OPIC services are available for your company. OPIC has some restrictions regarding the countries and types of industries in which we can work. The following will help determine if your proposed overseas project may qualify (click the question for a description/answer):

  1. Are you a U.S. business or a U.S. citizen?
  2. Is your project in a country in which OPIC can do business?
  3. Have you contacted the private sector for involvement in your project?
  4. Does your project fall within one of our categorically prohibited sectors?
  5. Would your project result in the closing of a U.S. operation or a reduction of your U.S. workforce?
  6. Does your project fall within a sector that has experienced significant job loss in the U.S. within the past decade?
  7. Will your project uphold International Labor Organization worker rights standards?

We welcome you to our agency and look forward to working with you. Before you move on, please visit the Office of Investment Policy to learn about how the policies that govern OPIC will affect your project from initiation through the completion of OPIC support.


1. Are you a U.S. business or a U.S. citizen?

If yes, then OPIC may be able to work with you.

For financing, OPIC expects a U.S. equity or debt investor to assume a meaningful share of the risk, generally in the range of 25 percent of the project cost. Exceptions to the amount of investment requirement may be made in cases where U.S. brand-name franchisors, operators or contractors are significantly involved in the project on a long-term basis.

OPIC insurance is available to:

  • U.S. citizens;
  • corporations, partnerships or other associations created under the laws of the United States, its states or territories, and beneficially owned by U.S. citizens;*
  • foreign corporations that are more than 95 percent owned by investors eligible under the above criteria; and
  • other foreign entities that are 100 percent U.S.-owned.

* OPIC deems a corporation organized under the laws of the United States or its states and territories to be beneficially owned by U.S. citizens if more than 50 percent of each class of its issued and outstanding stock is owned by U.S. citizens either directly or beneficially. Where shares of stock of a corporation with widely dispersed public ownership are held in the names of trustees or nominees (including stock brokerage firms) with addresses in the United States, such shares may be deemed to be owned by U.S. citizens unless the investor has knowledge to the contrary. OPIC also permits the beneficial ownership of U.S. corporations to be determined by tracing back through any foreign ownership of their shares to the ultimate beneficial owners

2. Is your project in a country in which OPIC can do business?

If yes, then OPIC may be able to support your project. Learn more about where OPIC operates.

3. Have you contacted the private sector for involvement in your project?

If not, then you should consider contacting private banks and insurers to gauge their willingness to participate in your project. If yes, and if private sector banks and insurers have expressed unwillingness to work with you, then OPIC may be able to support your project.

4. Does your project fall within one of our categorically prohibited sectors?

If no, then OPIC may be able to provide support for your project.

Categorically Prohibited Sectors:

  • Projects that involve conversion or degradation of Critical Forest Areas or related Critical Natural Habitats. "Critical Natural Habitats" means (1) existing internationally recognized protected areas, areas initially recognized as protected by traditional local communities (e.g., sacred groves), and sites that maintain conditions vital to the viability of protected areas (as determined by the environmental assessment procedure); and (2) sites identified on supplementary lists by authoritative sources identified by OPIC (such sites may include areas recognized by traditional local communities (e.g., sacred groves), areas with known high suitability for biodiversity conservation and sites that are critical for vulnerable, migratory or endangered species; listings are based on systematic evaluations of such factors as species richness, the degree of endemism, rarity, and vulnerability of component species, representativeness and the integrity of ecosystem processes). "Critical Forest Areas" means a type of natural forest that qualifies as Critical Natural Habitat.
  • Projects involving the construction of "large dams" that significantly and irreversibly: (A) disrupt natural ecosystems upstream or downstream of the dam, or (B) alter natural hydrology, or (C) inundate large land areas, or (D) impact biodiversity, or (E) displace large numbers of inhabitants (5,000 persons or more) or (F) impact local inhabitants' ability to earn a livelihood.
  • Projects involving the commercial manufacturing of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) or the production or use of persistent organic pollutants (POPS) that are banned or scheduled to be phased out of production and use by international agreement during the life of the project. A list of these substances and chemicals can be obtained from OPIC on request. The ODS list is defined by the Montreal Protocol as amended and US implementing regulations. The POPs prohibition refers to twelve products whose ban and phase out are provided for under the Rotterdam Convention of 2004. OPIC's prohibition is consistent with the position of the U.S. government in the negotiations that preceded such convention with respect to the various categories of POPs, which include pesticides, industrial chemicals and unintentional by-products.
  • Projects that require resettlement of 5,000 or more persons.
  • Projects in or impacting natural World Heritage Sites (areas of significant ecological value that have been internationally recognized as necessary for strict protection by members of the World Heritage Convention).
  • Projects in or impacting areas on the United Nations List of National Parks and Protected Areas.
  • Extraction or infrastructure projects in or impacting: protected area Categories I, II, III, and IV (Strict Nature Reserve/Wilderness Areas and National Parks; Natural Monuments and Habitat/Species Management Areas), as defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Projects in IUCN Categories V (Protected Landscape/Seascape) and VI (Managed Resource Protected Area) must be consistent with IUCN management objectives.
  • Areas protected by the Ramsar Convention are considered within the appropriate IUCN Category to which they are assigned.
  • Projects established as a result or in contemplation of reducing or terminating U.S. based operations. Such operations include "runaway plants" as well as outsourcing the provision of goods and services from the United States. Business process outsourcing (BPO), such as software design, customer service and accounting functions, is also included within this prohibition.
  • Projects involving gambling; tobacco or related products; alcoholic beverages (if contrary to local religious or cultural norms); media communications of an adult or political nature; or military production or sales.
  • Pharmaceuticals or medical equipment not approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or by a public health authority from one of the countries listed under the Drug Export Act of 1986.

5. Would your project result in the closing of a U.S. operation or a reduction of your U.S. workforce?

If no, then OPIC may be able to provide support for your project.

6. Does your project fall within a sector that has experienced significant job loss in the U.S. within the past decade?

If no, then OPIC may be able to provide support for your project.

7. Will your project uphold International Labor Organization worker rights standards?

If yes, then OPIC may be able to support your project.

Worker Rights

OPIC's statutory requirements regarding worker rights can be summarized as follows:

  • OPIC may operate in countries if they currently have, or are taking steps to adopt and implement, laws that extend internationally recognized worker rights.
  • OPIC cannot provide assistance for any program, project, or activity that contributes to the violation of "internationally recognized workers rights." These "internationally recognized worker rights" include:
    • The right of association;
    • The right to organize and bargain collectively;
    • Prohibition of forced or compulsory labor;
    • Minimum age for employment; and
    • Acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational health and safety.
  • OPIC must include the following language in every project contract: "The investor agrees not to take actions to prevent employees of the foreign enterprise from lawfully exercising their right of association and their right to organize and bargain collectively. The investor further agrees to observe applicable laws relating to a minimum age for employment of children, acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work and occupational health and safety, and not to use forced labor. The investor is not responsible under this paragraph for the actions of a foreign government."

Every project is reviewed for its compliance with the OPIC statutory worker rights requirements. Each review includes a country-level analysis with respect to labor laws and general country labor conditions, and a project-level analysis with respect to sector and specific project activities, location, size, number of workers, and the nature of work performed.