The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, is looking to ramp up its engagement with the Vietnamese private sector, with an aim to expand its portfolio of financing to $500 million in “the next a couple of years,” said a senior executive.
“Beyond that, we would like to see it [portfolio] to grow to $1 billion to $2 billion or more in the next six to ten years,” OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield told BizLIVE
when leading a business delegation to Vietnam this week.
OPIC is currently operating a portfolio of $21 billion in 106 countries, with $4 billion in Asia. However, its foothold in Vietnam is modest.
OPIC wants to increase its presence in Vietnam because the firm sees Vietnam is shifting to attract higher-quality investments and moving up the value chain. “Now is the moment that we should be pushing American foreign direct investment in Vietnam,” she noted.
“The growth has been tremendous and I think Vietnam is poised to continue that growth. Particularly with a young and talented population, the outlook is very bright.”
The U.S. government-run firm will provide financing to projects in sectors with high potential such as renewable energy, information technology, Internet, adding to traditional businesses such as agriculture, health and education, Ms. Littlefield noted.
OPIC requires companies eligible to receive its financing to have projects with positive development impact, viable business plans, high-quality partners and U.S. components.
OPIC provides financial products such as loans and guaranties, political risk insurance, and support for investment funds. Its loans can range between $1 million and $250 million and have a maturity of up to 20 years.