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What is OPIC?

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining agency of the U.S. Government that helps American businesses invest in development in emerging markets and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in fast-growing emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. 
OPIC reviews all potential projects to ensure they will have no negative impact on U.S. jobs or the U.S. economy.


Is OPIC part of the U.S. Government?

Yes. OPIC was established in 1971 by President Richard Nixon as an agency of the U.S. Government. Organized as a corporation with a corporate structure, it is governed by a Board of Directors, President and CEO, all nominated by the President of the United States and approved by the U.S. Senate. 
OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers and has generated money for the U.S. Treasury for 39 straight years.

Are OPIC services U.S. taxpayer-funded?

OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. In fact, 2016 marked the 39th straight year that OPIC has generated money for American taxpayers and helped reduce the federal deficit. Over the past 10 years, OPIC has contributed a total of $3.7 billion for deficit reduction. ​​​​​​​

Why is OPIC important to the United States? 

OPIC supports American national security and foreign policy as well as American business.

By supporting investment in regions around the world that are experiencing challenges such as poverty or conflict, OPIC helps promote economic and political stability, while also helping American businesses gain footholds in many of the world’s emerging and fast-growing markets. 
To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects.


How does OPIC support American businesses in emerging markets? 

OPIC supports American businesses in emerging markets in three main ways:


•   Joshi Technologies, Inc., American Businesses, Emerging Market Investments, What is OPIC, American Businesses, Government Agency, OPIC, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, National Security, Federal Budget, Federal Deficit, Small Business, Foriegn Policy, Exports, Foreign Assistance, Private Sector, Public Sector Financing: Direct loans and guarantees as small as a few million up to $250 million for tenors as long as 20 years to projects that are unable to raise sufficient commercial financing, with specific programs for American small businesses.

Example: Helping an Oklahoma business produce oil in Colombia
Joshi Technologies Inc., a small business based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, used OPIC financing to extend the life of an oil field in Colombia. By using its innovative drilling technology, Joshi was able to 4,000 barrels of oil per day from a field that had been considered past its prime. Read more

 


•    Dredging equipment in IraqPolitical Risk Insurance: Coverage of up to $250 million against losses resulting from currency inconvertibility, expropriation, regulatory risk, political violence and breach of contract, when private political risk insurance is not available. 

Example: Mitigating the risk of a Maryland company doing business in Iraq
Ellicott Dredges LLC used OPIC political risk insurance to support the sale of its dredging equipment in Iraq and other developing markets to help ensure those transactions proceed smoothly. Learn more

 

•   Java House staff Investment Funds: Support for emerging market private equity investment funds that invest in new and  expanding emerging market companies. 

Example: Supporting entrepreneurs and businesses in Africa
OPIC-supported Emerging Capital Partners, based in Washington DC, has invested in a variety of businesses in Africa, including the Java House coffee chain, which was founded by an American entrepreneur and expanded into 41 coffee shops and restaurants in Kenya and Uganda. Learn more  

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Who can qualify for OPIC support?

OPIC reviews all potential projects to ensure they will have no negative impact on U.S. jobs or the U.S. economy.
Other requirements for eligible projects include.
•    U.S. ownership or strong U.S. involvement
•    A strong business plan and a successful track record in the industry
•    An inability to attract sufficing private financing or insurance. OPIC does not compete with commercial banks but provides loans and guaranties when private funding is not available.
•    Compliance with international standards on worker rights, human rights and the environment.

 

How does OPIC support U.S. small businesses?

American small businesses are a longstanding OPIC priority. Each year, well over half the new projects OPIC commits involve an American small business. OPIC also has an active small business outreach program and has hosted more than 36 Expanding Horizons workshops over the past decade, to educate small businesses about the benefits of expanding into emerging markets.

 

What types of projects does OPIC support?

OPIC supports projects in a variety of industries from critical infrastructure to electricity, financial services, healthcare and technology.
The projects OPIC supports have built power plants and water treatment facilities, expanded and modernized airports and helped increase access to food, clean water, electricity, and financial services in emerging markets from Africa to the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. 

 

Where does OPIC operate?

OPIC is authorized to do business in more than 160 countries around the world
•    More than one-quarter of OPIC’s portfolio is in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
•    More than one-third of OPIC’s active portfolio is in regions affected by conflict, where investment in development serves as a stabilizing force.