Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a U.S. government agency that helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, promotes economic growth at home and abroad, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy. OPIC offers financing and political risk insurance to eligible U.S. companies, and also supports the creation of privately owned and managed funds that make direct investments in new, expanding, or privatizing companies around the world.
Since its inception in 1971, OPIC has considered southeastern Europe a priority, and has committed $1.4 billion in insurance and financing to 35 different projects in the region. Specifically, $157 million in political risk insurance has been provided to four projects in Bulgaria, in the energy, manufacturing and food service sectors.
OPIC also recognizes the importance of sufficient equity investment in emerging markets, and subsequently launched an initiative to strengthen the availability of private equity growth capital in southeastern Europe. As a result, Soros Investment Capital Ltd., a $200 million OPIC-supported private equity investment fund for southeast Europe and the Caucasus, was established.
OPIC supports, insures and finances investment projects with substantial U.S. participation that are financially sound, promise significant benefits to the social and economic development of the host country, and foster private initiative and competition. OPIC support is available for new investments, privatizations, and expansions and modernizations of existing plants. OPIC considers projects significantly involving U.S. small businesses and cooperatives a priority, and recently opened the Small Business Center (SBC), which provides financing to help small American companies with annual revenues under $35 million ease into new markets.
OPIC will not support projects that could result in the loss of U.S. jobs, adversely affect the U.S. economy or the host country’s development or environment, or contribute to violations of internationally recognized worker rights.
Moreover, OPIC has worked closely with the Export-Import Bank, U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, U.S. Trade Development Agency, and several other U.S. government agencies to unlock the opportunities that exist in southeastern Europe, bringing advancement and economic gain to investors and the region.
For more information, please visit the website at www.opic.gov