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The Future of Development Finance

Main Stage

Programming Partner: U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

Media Partner: Yahoo! Finance



  • As developing countries and emerging markets see an increasing need for foreign direct investment (FDI), Edward Burrier addressed trends currently shaping the future of FDI, with a specific focus on how COVID-19 has impacted the global investment landscape.
  • In January 2020, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was transformed into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). Burrier discussed the motives and key changes behind this organizational shift, citing the need for a full suite of investment tools including equity investments. 
  • At a time when there is an abundance of opportunities to invest in developing economies, Burrier explained DFC’s approach to analyzing investment viability, stating financial return as a key indicator of long-term, sustainable, development impact. However, Burrier also described DFC’s IQ system, which it uses to determine the impact of investments through the lens of job creation, sector-specific variables, and inclusivity. 
  • As COVID-19 has brought both unprecedented challenges and opportunities to FDI, Burrier expanded on the strategic shifts DFC is taking, including working with local financial institutions and focusing on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 
  • Last, Burrier expanded on FDI’s role in diplomacy and discussed how the DFC’s work to prioritize economic interconnectivity can be a catalyst for political progress.
  • “When goods cross borders, armies do not,” Edward Burrier

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Moving forward, the DFC will continue to prioritize economic integration agreements and sees equity investments and a focus on SMEs as being at the forefront of successful FDI.




Session Speakers