1. OPIC REOPENS PROGRAMS IN UKRAINE
Agreement paves way for millions in U.S. investment
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)/U.S. Embassy in Ukraine
Washington, D.C., Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, December 17, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Paving the way for millions of dollars in potential U.S. private sector investment in the country, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has restored its programs in Ukraine, following the signing on December 16 of an agreement resolving a dispute over an insurance claim paid by OPIC.
By virtue of the agreement, OPIC is now able to provide financing and political risk insurance to American companies investing in Ukraine. Previously, OPIC had provided more than $254 million in financing and insurance to 21 projects in Ukraine, in sectors ranging from manufacturing and construction to energy and financial services.
“OPIC is pleased to once again make available its support for U.S. investment in Ukraine, a development which we anticipate will send a highly positive signal to prospective investors in the country,” said OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli.
“This historic occasion is indicative of Ukraine’s ongoing efforts to improve its investment climate, and we commend the Ukrainian government for its hard work in bringing about this result. We look forward to working with both U.S. and Ukrainian businesses to facilitate new levels of American investment in Ukraine.”
Vice President Joseph R. Biden also noted the significance of the agreement during a visit to Ukraine earlier this year. “I was pleased to learn that the government has taken the final decision necessary to bring the Overseas Private Investment Corporation back to Ukraine. That will make it easier for American companies to reinvest in Ukraine, and invest in the first place, which will help both our economies in the current downturn,” Mr. Biden said on July 21.
The signing of today’s agreement was the culmination of a series of steps leading to full restoration of OPIC programs in Ukraine, including the November 2008 conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between the two governments, and the July 2009 passage in the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers of a resolution facilitating settlement of the dispute.
The original dispute involved OPIC payment in 1999 of an insurance claim to the U.S. sponsor of a project in Ukraine. A prolonged inability to settle the dispute resulted in suspension of OPIC programs in the country.
OPIC was established as an agency of the U.S. government in 1971. It helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers.
OPIC’s political risk insurance and financing help U.S. businesses of all sizes invest in more than 150 emerging markets and developing nations worldwide. Over the agency's 38-year history, OPIC has supported $188 billion worth of investments that have helped developing countries to generate over 830,000 host-country jobs. OPIC projects have also generated $72 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 273,000 American jobs.
Visit OPIC on the web at www.opic.gov.
For further information, contact: Timothy Harwood (202) 336-8744