An overview of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and how it can assist direct investment in developing nations. This article is part of "A Basic Guide to Exporting", provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, to assist companies in exporting.
Last Published: 10/20/2016
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a federal agency that facilitates U.S. foreign direct investment in developing nations and emerging market economies. OPIC is an independent, financially self-supporting corporation that is fully owned by the U.S. government. 

OPIC encourages U.S. investment projects overseas by offering political risk insurance, all-risk guarantees, and direct loans. OPIC political risk insurance protects U.S. investment ventures abroad against the uncertainties of civil strife and other violence, expropriation, and inconvertibility of currency. In addition, OPIC can cover business income loss caused by political violence or expropriation.

OPIC can offer up to $400 million in total project support for any one project—up to $250 million in project financing and up to $250 million in political risk insurance. The amount of insurance and financing available to projects in the oil and gas sector with offshore, hard-currency revenues is $300 million per product and $400 million if the project receives a credit evaluation of investment grade or higher from major ratings agencies. However, the maximum support OPIC may offer an individual project is $400 million, either by combined or single OPIC products.
Does your international venturerequire overseas investment? If so, be sure to talk to OPIC.

U.S. exporters often can benefit from the construction and equipping of new facilities financed by OPIC, although the recipients of OPIC transactions are U.S. investors. U.S. exporters and contractors operating abroad can benefit directly from an OPIC program covering wrongful calling of bid and providing performance, advance payment, or other guarantees. Under another program, OPIC insures against expropriation of construction equipment temporarily located abroad and spare parts warehoused abroad. It also insures some cross-border operating and capital loans.

In addition, OPIC provides services to facilitate wider participation by smaller U.S. businesses in overseas investment. They include investment missions, a computerized data bank, and investor information services. OPIC has undertaken several initiatives to increase its support for U.S. small businesses in their efforts to invest in emerging markets overseas. The Small and Medium Enterprise Department and OPIC’s Small Business Center were established specifically to address the needs of small and medium-sized American companies and to ease their entry into new markets. A small business insurance “wrap” is offered to companies undertaking projects through the Small Business Center. A partnership with SBA enhances OPIC’s outreach to the small business community.

For more information on any of these programs, call OPIC’s InfoLine at (202) 336-8799 or the FactsLine at (202) 336-8700, or visit

Economic Development and Investment