10:05 | 04/11/2016 Economy
(VEN) - Elizabeth L. Littlefield, the President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, recently visited Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, to promote American investment. The trip follows President Obama’s May visit and underscores the interest and commitment to help facilitate investment in sectors that can enrich the lives of the Vietnamese people.
Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, OPIC has tripled its investment throughout Asia, to $ 3.9 billion, with a third of that active in the Asia Pacific region.
“I am here this week to better understand the country’s vision so that OPIC can partner, crowd in private capital, and help implement that vision. OPIC wants to do as much as we can to catalyze sustainable, responsible private investment with high standards in the coming years,” Littlefield stated. “Our hope is to have greater prosperity reach ever more people across Vietnam and support this young, vibrant nation as it grows to its full potential.”
OPIC, which maintains a nearly $ 22 billion portfolio, provides long- term loans, guarantees and political risk insurance to finance development projects in emerging and frontier markets. The agency also provides financing to private equity funds.
“I sense this interest here in persifying and modernizing the economy. Vietnam is on the cusp of another great wave of foreign direct investment. I want to understand and support the movement forward on clean energy, agriculture, education and smart cities.” Littlefield added.
With $ 4.5 million of financing from OPIC, Massachusetts-based Australis created the world’s largest Barramundi fish farm in Van Phong Bay, Vietnam. The venture specializes in sustainable and eco-friendly aquaculture and employs one hundred local workers.
“I am here engaging investors, businesses and government officials, listening carefully to understand the opportunities and challenges. Given the tremendous private sector interest in Vietnam, the country should be able to attract the high- quality investors that its people deserve, investors that will help build critical infrastructure, support job creation and spur economic growth for all citizens of Vietnam”, Littlefield stated. “Those investors will want to know that the government welcomes the private sector and will work to ensure a supportive and predictable business climate”, Littlefield stated.