20 Jul 2018

US claims better development finance terms than China

1:16 pm on 20 July 2018

The US government's development finance arm says it offers better terms in the Asia-Pacific than China.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) chief executive Ray Washburne.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) chief executive Ray Washburne. Photo: Wikipedia

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, says its US$4 billion fund in the region is to help economic development, stability and prosperity.

In Papua New Guinea it provided more than US$10 million to help telecommunications company Digicel expand services into remote parts of the country.

OPIC's executive vice-president David Bohigian said the US assistance did not force countries to use an imported labour force.

He said it ensures environmental standards are met and that loan repayments are within a country's capacity.

Mr Bohigian said strategic assets should not be put at risk and cites Sri Lanka handing over a strategic port Hambantota to China last year on a 99-year lease.

"So we think the United States working with our counterparts in Japan and Australia truly are going to be able to drive bolder and bigger projects that create economic growth and local jobs that enhance regional connectivity."

Including the Pacific in the Asia region, David Bohigian said "what's good for Asia is good for the world".