DFC CEO Scott Nathan Remarks at Democracy Delivers Event on the Sidelines of the UN General Assembly

CEO Scott Nathan

September 20, 2022

New York, NY

As prepared for delivery

Thank you, Administrator Power for that introduction, and thank you, Secretary Blinken, for your opening remarks. As Vice Chair and Chair of our Board of Directors, I am grateful for your steadfast support.

And thank you to all the leaders here today of countries around the world that have shown a steadfast commitment to democracy. Your example is an inspiration.

I am pleased to speak on behalf of the United States International Development Finance Corporation today, because democratic reform is critical to the work we do.

It is particularly fitting that I have the opportunity to share a few reflections at the transition from public sector remarks in the program to the private sector.

The DFC partners with private sector leaders to mobilize investment into projects that improve people’s lives.

We provide financing through loans, loan guaranties, equity, political risk insurance, and technical assistance.

We invest above all in the engines of national economies – small businesses, and the women and men leading them.

We invest in highly developmental projects across sectors, with a special focus on expanding access to the essentials, like clean energy, food, clean water, and dependable healthcare.

We invest in infrastructure, from digital and telecommunications technology to transportation assets like roads, railways, and ports.

And we make those investments in more than 100 countries and in every region – including each country represented here.

In my meetings and travels around the world, and in the work DFC does every day, I see daily the reality that democracy and investment go hand in hand.

We may sometimes speak of democracy in abstract terms. But democracy is a powerful tool for economic growth, attract investment, improve lives, and create opportunity.

Businesses are more likely to work in a country where they feel confident that the rules are fair and enforceable.

Investment is more likely to be successful in the long term when worker rights are respected and local communities can voice their concerns.

And entrepreneurs are more likely to thrive when they have the freedom to explore their ideas and bring them to life.

That is why we focus our work on countries that are working to open their economies and societies over time.

And it is why we hold each of our private sector partners to very high social, environmental, and labor standards.

We are proud to work with every country we heard from today. Here’s just a sample of our work across your countries.

We partnered with Gavi to increase vaccine availability in Armenia;

We are investing in long-run health security in Ecuador among a range of sectors;

We just closed a major investment in renewable energy in Malawi;

We are investing in small businesses in the Dominican Republic;

We are partnering with a private business to expand access to safe water and food in Zambia;

We are supporting an innovative small business in Tanzania to improve cargo transportation and logistics;

We invested equity in a fund in Nepal supporting companies in healthcare, renewable energy, and technology;

And we are partnering with Moldova to bolster its agriculture and energy sectors.

These are just some examples of the work that our countries – our democracies – can do together, and we look forward to working with each of you to drive even more investment into the vibrant economies you are leading and growing.

We can do more, we should do more, and we look forward to your ideas on how we can do more work together.