Encourage USG international development and investment organizations and multilateral development banks (MDBs) to participate in OPIC’s Enterprise Development Network, and utilize the EDN Search Engine (beta.ednacccess.com) to promote their programs.
Investment in developing countries is crucial to solving challenges like instability and hunger, but it is very difficult to achieve due to unstable political, financial and legal systems, as well as volatile post-conflict environments and natural disasters that require robust assurances and risk mitigants to attract investors. Lack of basic business infrastructure, including business service providers, adds to the difficulty. US and foreign governments and MDBs respond with diverse missions, audiences and programs that have led to a proliferation of initiatives and lack of coordination that entrepreneurs and businesses find difficult to navigate.
OPICs’ EDN can help solve these problems. EDN is designed to be a self-sustaining, scalable platform open to all involved in investment development. EDN’s online menu of services to be launched this fall will include easily accessible information about investment programs and matchmaking tools to find service providers, opportunities and funding. By collaborating with the public and private sectors, EDN provides the USG with greater capabilities and stature in developing economies. EDN can proactively target and support US foreign policy priorities like Iraq, and address local needs like food security. EDN is designed to provide significant efficiencies and cost savings through better use of technology, more efficient access to capital, and improved coordination of USG activities. These USG savings could exceed 100’s of millions of dollars.
Further recommended is the creation of an EDN Advisory Group consisting of leaders in USG, MDBs, NGOs, business service providers, lenders and investors, as well as a White House-sponsored EDN Conference for investment development.