Fri, 16 Apr 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The ability of American companies to invest in Indonesia - the world`s fourth most-populous country - through the support of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was improved in Wednesday by the conclusion of an agreement between the two countries.

A US Embassy media release made available to Antara on Thursday said OPIC Acting President Lawrence Spinelli and Gita Wirjawan, Chairman of Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board, signed on April 13 the investment support agreement at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. attended by Indonesian Vice President Boediono.

The new agreement updates a 1967 pact between the United States and Indonesia by adding OPIC products such as direct loans, coinsurance and reinsurance to the means of OPIC support which U.S. companies may use to invest in Indonesia.

Noting the importance of developing a "mutually-advantageous economic relationship" between the two countries, the agreement affirms "a common desire to encourage economic activities in the Republic of Indonesia that promote the development of the economic resources" of Indonesia.

"Indonesia offers a large and dynamic market for U.S. investment, which in turn will support Indonesia`s economic growth, a prospect that is only improved by the conclusion of today`s agreement," said r. Spinelli.

"We look forward to working closely with both U.S. and Indonesian companies to facilitate new levels of investment in Indonesia," he added.

Spinelli noted that over its 39-year history OPIC had committed more than $2.1 billion in financing and political risk insurance to 110 projects in Indonesia.

Currently, OPIC is providing more than $94 million in support to six projects in Indonesia, in the energy, manufacturing and services sectors.

OPIC was established as an agency of the U.S. government in 1971.

It helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy.

Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers.

OPIC`s political risk insurance and financing help U.S. businesses of all sizes invest in more than 150 emerging markets and developing nations worldwide.

Over the agency`s 38-year history, OPIC has supported $188 billion worth of investments that have helped developing countries to generate over 830,000 host-country jobs. OPIC projects have also generated $72 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 273,000 American jobs.(*)opic