Thanks to a $9.2 million loan from a U.S. Government agency, Afghanistan will be able to establish its first locally manufactured beverage facility, helping the country both meet a strong demand for clean drinking water and continue its economic reconstruction.
With the loan provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a U.S. small business comprised of Afghan-American businessmen, will construct and operate ABI, a beverage manufacturing, packaging and distribution operation in Kabul. ABI will produce beverages for the Afghan market, including bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, and fruit juices.
OPIC President and CEO Dr. Peter Watson said that one of the facilitys principal products, high-purity bottled water, will help Kabul overcome an inadequate municipal water supply. The facility will pump water from an underground aquifer, then purify, bottle and distribute it directly to residential and commercial customers. Bottled water and beverages are currently imported from neighboring countries into Afghanistan and are extremely expensive.
Afghanistan is in the process of reconstructing its economic and physical infrastructure, an important part of which is the provision of clean and safe drinking water such as the kind produced by this project, Dr. Watson said. OPIC is pleased to work with a U.S. small business on a project that will simultaneously deliver important social benefits and continue the reconstruction of Afghanistans economy.
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.
OPICs 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 agencys 32-year history, OPIC has supported $150 billion worth of investments that have helped developing countries to generate over 690,000 host-country jobs. OPIC projects have also generated $66 billion in U.S. exports and created more than 257,000 American jobs.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was established as a development agency of the U.S. government in 1971. OPIC helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing the risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy.
[Source: OPIC press release]