Speech

October 27, 2011

As Prepared by

Ontario, California

Welcome and Opening Remarks of MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes

Doing Business Overseas with MCC Event

Welcome! I am glad to see such a fantastic turnout.

Thanks, Don [Driftmier], for that introduction. MCC collaborated with Rotary International back in April for the international water summit in Washington, D.C., so, I’m glad to work with Rotary here on the West Coast too. Rotary International is fortunate to be guided by CEO John Hewko, who served as the former Vice President of Operations during MCC’s first five years. It’s truly a small world. And, special thanks to Tim [Murphy] and the District Export Council for their support of this event.

Today’s workshop focuses on procurement opportunities made possible through the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s partnerships with countries around the world. By fighting poverty through economic growth, these partnerships create opportunities for American companies to do business in new markets. Make no mistake about this: MCC’s results-focused, reform-driven, accountability-centered way of delivering development assistance creates opportunities for your businesses.

While the panel will go into the nuts and bolts of how to bid on MCC procurements—and what additional resources are available through other U.S. Government agencies—I want to share some thoughts with you about why these opportunities matter.

I believe MCC’s work with the private sector matters for three key reasons.

First, MCC is helping U.S. businesses create American jobs. Studies show that for every 10 percent increase in exports, U.S. jobs grow by 7 percent. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, exports support more than 10 million U.S. jobs. Jobs are at the top of the national agenda. MCC plays a role in creating American jobs by doing our part to build new markets that want to buy products and services “made in America.”

Second, MCC is inviting U.S. businesses to enter new markets. We want to work with the private sector to support activities in our partner countries that specifically address constraints to economic growth. The private sector can expand the impact and sustainability of MCC’s investments worldwide. 

Third, MCC is serving as a gateway to opportunity for U.S. businesses. Because MCC funds major infrastructure improvements and supports critical policy reforms, we create pro-business conditions that stimulate follow-on trade and private sector investments. We are your gateway to opportunity.

That’s what two American companies, Symbion Power of Washington, D.C. and Pike Electric of Mount Airy, North Carolina, would say. They won over 110 million dollars in contracts to build power sub-stations and install power lines as part of MCC’s investment in Tanzania’s energy sector. While MCC facilitated their entry into Tanzania, these companies are working to expand their businesses on their own. This past June, Symbion purchased a 120 megawatt power plant in Tanzania, adding to the growth of private power producers in the country. Since then, Symbion has been contracted by the government to deliver another 200 megawatts by this December. Recognizing Symbion as a strong partner, the Tanzanian government is discussing bringing additional power generation on-line as well. This would greatly increase Tanzania’s total current generation capacity and enhance Symbion’s investment in Tanzania beyond its initial MCC procurement.

Jobs, new markets, your gateway to opportunity—that’s what brings us all here today.

I’ve made a career in the private sector—with over 30 years of experience managing complex business projects. I recognize and appreciate the tremendous role your companies play in economic growth and job creation, right here at home and around the world. All of us at MCC look forward to exploring ways of working with you. We also want to introduce you to our colleagues from across the U.S. Government who join MCC here today. From the U.S. Small Business Administration, to the U.S. Department of Commerce, to the U.S. Department of State, resources and expertise are available to help your business grow and prosper in new markets. Together, we can do a world of good, renewing our economic strength at home and contributing to global economic prosperity that benefits us all.