U.S. Government Agencies and Trade Development Resources

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) - was established as an independent agency of the U.S. government to help U.S. business invest overseas, and to foster economic social development in emerging and developing countries.

Key services include:


OPIC financing provides medium- to long-term funding through direct loans and loan guaranties to eligible investment projects in developing countries and emerging markets.


Political risk insurance is available to U.S. investors, contractors, exporters and financial institutions involved in international transactions. Political risk insurance can cover currency inconvertibility, expropriation and political violence, and is available for investments in new ventures, expansions of existing enterprises, privatizations and acquisitions with positive developmental benefits.

Investment Funds

OPIC provides support for the creation of privately-owned and managed investment funds. These funds make direct equity and equity-related investments in new, expanding or privatizing emerging market companies.

General Requirements:

If you answer Yes, to all of the following questions, then OPIC may be able to provide support for your project.Are you a U.S. business or a U.S. citizen?

1. Is your project in a country in which OPIC can do business? (OPIC offices located worldwide except for Western Europe and Canada.)

2. Have you contacted the private sector for involvement in your project?

3. Will your project uphold International Labor Organization worker rights standards?

If you answer No, to any of the following questions, then OPIC may be able to provide support for your project.

4. Does your project fall within one of our categorically prohibited sectors? (OPIC does not work with projects that are environmentally unsustainable.)

5. Would your project result in the closing of a U.S. operation or a reduction of your U.S. workforce?

6. Does your project fall within a sector that has experienced significant job loss in the U.S. within the past decade?

For further information contact: www.opic.gov

U.S. Trade & Development Agency (USTDA)- From consulting firms to exporters, USTDA offers opportunities for U.S. businesses of every size to expand their reach into global markets.

Key services include:

International Business Partnership

The International Business Partnership Program (IBPP) connects international buyers with U.S. manufacturers and service providers in order to open new export markets and commercial opportunities around the world for American companies.

Key activities include:

Reverse Trade Missions- bring foreign buyers to the United States, pending an upcoming procurement, in order to observe the design, manufacture, demonstration and operation of U.S. products and services that can help them achieve their development goals.

Conferences and Workshops- connect U.S. firms with foreign project sponsors. These sector or region-specific events are designed to showcase U.S. goods, services and technology to foreign buyers. U.S. firms also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with overseas project sponsors.

Training- for foreign decision makers to support the sale of U.S. equipment and services overseas. Typically focuses on technology or regulatory requirements in order to give project sponsors a better understanding of U.S. capabilities and expertise related to a procurement opportunity.

Project Development

USTDA provides grants directly to overseas sponsors who, in turn, select U.S. companies to perform Agency-funded project development activities.

Key activities include:

Feasibility studies- link foreign project sponsors with U.S. businesses at the critical early stage when technology options and project requirements are being defined.

Pilot projects- demonstrate the effectiveness of commercially proven U.S. solutions and provide the analysis, evaluation and empirical data needed for potential foreign projects to secure funding.

Technical assistance- supports legal and regulatory reform related to commercial activities and infrastructure development, the establishment of industry standards, and other market-opening activities.

USTDA evaluates projects primarily based on:

  • All technologies must already be commercialized
  • Their priority to the project sponsor and the countries where they are located and their likelihood of receiving implementation financing.
  • Whether they offer mutual economic benefit for the host country and the United States, including opportunities for U.S. firms to export goods and services into those projects.


  • Except as USTDA may otherwise agree, the Contractor for USTDA funded activities must be either a U.S. firm or a U.S. consultant. Prime contractors may utilize U.S. subcontractors, but the use of host country subcontractors is limited to 20% of the USTDA grant amount.

Source and Origin:

  • Any goods (e.g., equipment and materials) and services related to their shipment (e.g., international transportation and insurance) funded under the USTDA Grant Agreement must have their source and origin in the United States, unless USTDA otherwise agrees.

For further information contact: http://www.ustda.gov/

Export-Import Bank-is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Import Bank's mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. Ex-Im Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing); export credit insurance; and loan guarantees and direct loans (buyer financing).

Key services include:


Provides credit terms to foreign buyers; and protects exporters against loss should a foreign buyer or other foreign debtor default for political or commercial reasons. Insurance policies may apply to shipments to one buyer or many. Coverage available includes comprehensive (commercial and political) credit risks or only specific political risks. The insurance covers short-term (up to 360 days) as well as medium-term (1 to 7 year) sales.

Working Capital Loan Guarantee

Addresses the export financing needs of U.S. businesses producing goods and services for the U.S. export market. By offering a 90% guarantee of principal and interest to the lender for export-related working capital loans, Ex-Im Bank allows U.S. businesses to borrow greater sums against their current assets (increases their borrowing base). These loans can be both transaction specific or revolving, and there are no minimum or maximum limits on the loan amount.

Loan Guarantee

In cases when a foreign buyer seeks a loan to purchase U.S. made goods, and in-country loans are too expensive, Ex-Im Bank can provide a loan guarantee to a commercial lending institution to make the loan to the foreign buyer. Ex-Im Bank will guarantee up to 85% of principal and interest of the U.S. contract price.


Eligible exporters:

  • Must be located in the United States
  • Must have at least a one-year operating history
  • Must have a positive net worth

Eligible exports:

  • Must be shipped from the United States
  • Products must have at least 50% U.S. content.
  • Services must be performed by U.S.-based personnel.

Military or defense items are generally not eligible, nor are sales to military buyers (with certain exceptions).

For further information contact: http://www.exim.gov/

Millennium Challenge Corporation -The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. MCC provides countries with large-scale grants to fund country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth. MCC grants complement other U.S. and international development programs.

Key services include:


A Compact is a multi-year agreement between the Millennium Challenge Corporation and an eligible country to fund specific programs targeted at reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth.

Threshold programs

Smaller grants awarded to countries that come close to passing these criteria and are firmly committed to improving their policy performance. The objective of the Threshold Program is to assist a country in becoming compact eligible by supporting targeted policy and institutional reforms.

General Requirements:

MCC forms partnerships with some of the world’s poorest countries, but only those committed to:

good governance, economic freedom, and investments in their citizens.

For further information contact: http://www.mcc.gov/

U.S. Small Business Administration -SBA provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been specifically designed to meet key financing needs, including debt financing, surety bonds, and equity financing.

Guaranteed Loan Programs (Debt Financing)

SBA sets the guidelines for loans, which are then made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations, and micro lending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners. So when a business applies for an SBA loan, it is actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty.

Bonding Program (Surety Bonds)-

Surety bond is a three-party instrument between a surety (someone who agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another), a contractor and a project owner. The agreement binds the contractor to comply with the terms and conditions of a contract.SBA can guarantee bonds for contracts up to $5 million, covering bid, performance and payment bonds, and in some cases up to $10 million for certain contracts.

Venture Capital Program (Equity Financing)

SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is a public-private investment partnership through which the SBA provides venture capital to small businesses. SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds, licensed and regulated by SBA.

SBA Export Loan Programs- SBA provides attractive export financing solutions for U.S. small businesses.

Export Working Capital Program

Loans up to $5 million.

Funds used for working capital to support sales or to provide foreign receivable financing.

Export Express Program

Program streamlined for quick approval on loans up to $500,000.

Funds used for any purpose that will increase a company’s ability to export.

International Trade Loan Program

Long-term financing on loans up to $5 million.

Funds used for company expansion and modernization (i.e., plant, equipment, real estate) due to growing export sales or adverse impact by foreign competition.


The SBA, for most industries, defines a "small business" either in terms of the average number of employees over the past 12 months, or average annual receipts over the past three years.

SBA defines a U.S. small business as:

  • Is organized for profit
  • Has a place of business in the US
  • Operates primarily within the U.S. or makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor
  • Is independently owned and operated
  • Is not dominant in its field on a national basis

For further information contact: http://www.sba.gov/

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