Global Business @ Meridian: OPIC

Mr. Robert Kapla, The Honorable Ray Washburne, Ambassador Holliday

Overview

Meridian held an installment of the Global Business@Meridian breakfast series at Meridian’s campus on December 13, 2017 with The Honorable Raymond W. Washburne, President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Hosted by Mr. Robert Kapla, Partner and Chair of the International Policy Practice at Squire Patton Boggs, the program drew over 20 corporate leaders together to engage in an off-the-record dialogue on economic challenges and opportunities in trade policy negotiations in the U.S.

Following around-the-table guest introductions facilitated by Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Mr. Kapla highlighted Mr. Washburne’s proven success in several entrepreneurship projects all over the United States and applauded OPIC’s mission of creating more jobs for Americans. Mr. Washburne then began by remarking on the genesis of OPIC as an extension of the old Marshall Plan and an agency that lends to businesses as well as provides political risk insurance, but never has ownership of those businesses. He continued to provide context of OPIC’s work in the current political climate and focused on the benefits of the agency’s mission to create more jobs and increase American economy by contributing $268 million towards the deficit every year.

Mr. Washburne shared some of OPIC’s regional priorities and new projects happening all around the world with the group. He indicated that the Indo-Pacific Region has become extremely important to their mission and they are investing in several large-scale projects there, including a Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative in India. Additionally, the Middle East is also a priority for projects where they are focused more on power and water plants and building gas pipelines. He emphasized the importance for America to have a strong development agency with a global reach in order to complete with other countries doing the same work and spreading their influence. The world continues to look to the United States for economic and political leadership, but there has been increased competition from countries like Japan and China. He is hopeful that with continued funding and support that America will maintain this position of leadership and power.

Attendees of the breakfast were able to engage in a Q&A with Mr. Washburne after his remarks and spoke about the future of foreign trade and investment with business leaders around the table.

Sponsor

Squire Patton Boggs

In Attendance

Corporate Council Members:

Squire Patton Boggs
The Boeing Company
Booz Allen Hamilton
Caterpillar
STUDIOS Architecture
Tellurian
Chevron

OPIC: Mr. Washburne, Laura Driscoe (Managing Director)

Guests: BGR Group, Debt Advisory International, Deloitte, Gen X Energy, Millstein & Co., Tata Sons, U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Association

Meridian International Center: Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Puru Trivedi, Lizzy Ramey

Featured Remarks:

  • Robert Kapla, Squire Patton Boggs
    Following around-the-table guest introductions facilitated by Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Mr. Kapla highlighted Mr. Washburne’s proven success in several entrepreneurship projects all over the United States and applauded OPIC’s mission of creating more jobs for Americans.
  • The Honorable Ray Washburne, OPIC
    Following Mr. Kapla’s introduction, Mr. Washburne began by remarking on the genesis of OPIC as an extension of the old Marshall Plan as an agency that lends to businesses as well as provides political risk insurance, but never has ownership of those businesses. He continued to provide context of OPIC’s work in the current political climate and focused on the benefits of the agency’s mission to create more jobs and increase American economy by contributing $268 million towards the deficit every year.

Key Discussion Highlights

  • Regional Focus: Mr. Washburne shared some of OPIC’s regional priorities and new projects happening all around the world with the group. He indicated that the Indo-Pacific Region has become extremely important to their mission and they are investing in several large-scale projects there, including a Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative in India. Additionally, the Middle East is also a priority for projects where they are focused more on power and water plants and building gas pipelines.
  • Development Goals: America needs to have a strong development agency with a global reach in order to complete with other countries doing the same work and spreading their influence. Mr. Washburne noted that the world continues to look to the United States for leadership in these projects, but there has been increased competition from countries like Japan and China. He is hopeful that with continued funding and support that American will maintain this position of leadership and power.

Meridian looks forward to working with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation on future initiatives in Washington.

For Council items, please contact Puru P. Trivedi, Director for Corporate Relations | 202-939-5524 | ptrivedi@meridian.org

Project summary

Global Business @ Meridian: OPIC | December 2017
Number of Attendees: 20
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Private Sector, Public Sector
OPIC Photo 2