The Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) President and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, has reiterated the importance of partnering with the private sector in Jordan to lay a strong foundation for future economic growth and turn Jordan into an important financial power in the Middle East.
Speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony to open the fourth electricity generation project, Littlefield said that the corporation works closely with investors in the private sector, including foreign investors, to contribute towards promoting the Kingdom's role as a business capital in the Middle East, and as an example of progress and innovation." Littlefield said that the OPIC has invested over a billion dollars in the country's local projects through direct lending, loan guarantees, and risk mitigation for insurance.
The corporation also focuses on the development sector in the Kingdom, backing projects in basic infrastructure, such as education, power, renewable energy and health services.
Jordan, she said, had made tremendous efforts to create a friendly and welcoming business environment for foreign investments, "but still there is more that can be done in this area." Significant proportion of OPIC investments in the Kingdom are in the power sector, such as the water sector, and the corporation believes these are crucial to achieve development and create new jobs for locals.
In this regard, Littlefield added that the OPIC has been helping in financing the fourth electricity generating project with $125 million. The project will provide reliable energy for the country during peak usage periods.
The OPIC has also provided financing and political risk insurance to support the construction of the 202-mile Disi Water project. The complex project, which aims at improving clean water in Amman, involved construction of a pipeline as well as two reservoirs outside Amman, apart from drilling of 55 wells along the route.
The OPIC also provides loans to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through local banks, covering 60 percent of the project in Amman and about 70 percent of the projects in other governorates of the Kingdom, she said.
"We stimulate foreign capital investment into the Kingdom through providing loans, guarantees or risk insurance to investors," the CEO added.
Littlefield highlighted that the corporation is looking forward to be involved in many of Jordan's new projects including solar sector, import of gas and many other important projects.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, the OPIC is the U.S. government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and, in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy.
Since it works with the U.S. private sector, the OPIC helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities, both at home and abroad. The OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.