GENERAL SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL

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OPIC Press Release

Press Release
Friday, January 19, 2007

OPIC BOARD APPROVES $60 MILLION FOR HOTEL PROJECT IN AFGHANISTAN

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The board of directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approved $60 million in financing for construction of a 209-room, five-star hotel in Afghanistan, a project that will provide accommodation for foreign investors, an important boost to reconstruction efforts in the country, and a gateway for returning Afghan citizens who have spent time outside of their homeland.

General Systems International (GSI), a Delaware-based company, will use the OPIC loan to build the hotel on a major road in Kabul, with easy access to the city’s airport and to major embassies and government offices. The hotel will provide a full range of facilities and services, including a communications and business center, seminar and meeting facilities. Once completed, it will be managed by Marriott International.

The project is expected to generate several million dollars annually in foreign exchange, as well as 270 permanent jobs for local Afghans, and Marriott will implement a training program for all hotel employees. Afghan suppliers will provide materials, equipment, supplies and services for the project. GSI expects to maximize use of Afghan expertise in construction management, architecture and specialty construction. The company sees the project as the first step of its involvement in helping the Afghan people rebuild their country.

“Construction of this hotel will provide significant support for Afghanistan’s economic growth, not least by helping Kabul to modernize accommodations and meeting facilities for the foreign investors engaged in that effort,” said OPIC President and CEO Robert Mosbacher, Jr. “It will also introduce Marriott’s world-class management practices to Afghanistan’s hotel industry.”

“This project sends a message of confidence in Afghanistan’s future development to other prospective investors, and it is our expectation that it will catalyze further foreign direct investment in the country. OPIC is pleased to partner with U.S. companies such as GSI and Marriott International on a project with so many developmental benefits, Mosbacher said.

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.

OPIC’s 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 agency’s 35-year history, OPIC has supported $164 billion worth of investments that have helped developing countries to generate more than 732,000 host-country jobs and $13 billion in host-government revenues. OPIC projects have also generated $69 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 264,000 American jobs.

-Taken from the press release at opic.gov

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