Published On: Mon, Mar 7th, 2011

OPIC to help spearhead US investment in Vietnam

American investors in Vietnam will have more financing options when joining local partners.

Lawrence Spinelli, director of Foreign Affair of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), said Vietnam was a favourable investment environment with a great deal of opportunities for doing businesses.

Spinelli said: “OPIC will focus on the projects in tourism, renewable energy, clean technology, and infrastructure sectors, which are of great development potential.”

“Vietnam is lucrative not just because of the market size but also the region-linked opportunities that the country offers to companies from America,” he noted.

OPIC will organise its seventh international investment conference in Jakarta, Indonesia from May 3-5, 2011 to encourage more US investment in South East Asia and will bring together US businesses that are looking to enter or expand their operations in the region. Attending the event will be financial institutions that can provide loans for investment projects.

“This will be the first conference in the region following the recent amazing emergence of the South East Asian countries economically. The investment opportunities in the countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines will be the focus of the conference’s programme.”

Spinelli said OPIC had already financed a $5 million agricultural project in Nha Trang.

“I hope that the number will augment in the very near future following this conference,” he said.

Operating in Vietnam since 1998, OPIC has supported companies by giving them a loan with a negotiable interest rate and securing their investment by offering them investment support.

Besides the Nha Trang project, the corporation has also given financial support for GE, Procter & Gamble and other small- and medium-sized companies.

“We will offer medium and long-term direct loans and loan guaranties of between $100,000-$250 million to each eligible investment projects. Interest rate applied for each project is also different upon the market’s rate in a specific time and the project’s feasibility. It usually takes us two to four months to evaluate small projects and four to six months for others,” said Spinelli.

OPIC is an independent agency of the US government that mobilises US private sector investment in new and emerging markets overseas in order to support both the sustainable economic development of those markets and the creation of American jobs at home.

The corporation has been so far presented in 155 countries and provided more than $2.1 billion in insurance and financing in Indonesia – the biggest recipient of OPIC help in South East Asia. – VIR