A dramatic fourth-quarter surge of $950 million in political risk insurance written by the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) has boosted the agency's volume for fiscal 1981 to $1.48 billion, the highest level in its 11-year history. The current fourth-quarter results exceed the total amounts of OPIC insurance written in each of the full fiscal years of 1977-79.

"This sudden acceleration of the U.S. business community's drive to regain its competitive edge in the developing world has not come about by chance," said Craig A. Nalen, OPIC president and chief executive officer. "We believe it reflects a new confidence generated by the Reagan administration's recognition of the critical importance of competing in the world's fastest growing markets."

OPIC provides political risk insurance and finance services to encourage U.S. private investment in more than 90 developing nations.

Two weeks ago Reagan signed the Overseas Private Investment Corp. Admendments Act of 1981, strengthening OPIC's legislative mandate and extending the agency's authority to issue investment insurance, loans and loan guarantees until Sept. 30, 1985. Nalen credited that signing, and the recent remarks of senior administration officials, including the president, at the international summit meeting in Cancun, Mexico, as key factors contributing to "a new spirit of teamwork that can set the stage for unprecedented growth in trade and enhance the United States' position of leadership in the world marketplace."

OPIC's current rate of registrations for potential new overseas investment is strong and is expected to increase even more as a result of the broader authority contained in OPIC's new legislation. "There is every indication that in fiscal 1982 OPIC will reach significantly higher levels," Nalen said.

Today Nalen and William C. Norris, chairman of Control Data Corp., will lead a five-day investment mission of two dozen U.S. business executives to Jamaica to meet with Prime Minister Edward Seaga, Jamaican government officials and local businessmen seeking joint venture partners. The mission is designed to generate broader private sector participation in reviving the Jamaican economy, and comes in response to Seaga's personal appeal to Reagan earlier this year. On Nov. 30, OPIC will lead another economic development mission to Haiti. International Finance Corporation

* With the participation of commercial banks, a loan of $140 million to assist in financing the expansion of CIMINAS, or Cimento Nacional de Minas S.A., a major Brazilian cement producer. The projects consists of expansion of the company's facilities at Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais; the addition of coal grinding and feeding facilities; installation of a conveyor belt from the limestone quarry; and construction of two distribution terminals at Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, and Ribeiroa Preto, Sao Paulo. CIMINAS' expansion is expected to reduce a projected Brazilian cement deficit and generate net foreign exchange savings of $60 million annually, in addition to supporting regional development. Inter-American Development Bank

* Approval of two loans totaling $29.5 million for a program to extend credit to farmers in Panama. The loans, which include $16.6 million from ordinary capital and $12.9 million from the Fund for Special Operations, were made to Banco de DesarrolloAgropecuario (BDA), which will relend the proceeds to some 5,000 small- and medium-scale farmers, including members of 75 farm production organizations. Special emphasis will be placed on the central provinces and Chiriqui Province. The loans will help bring an additional 25,000 hectares under cultivation, increasing production by these farmers by a total of 42 percent. The subloans will finance both working capital and capital investments, the latter including orchards, pastures, farm buildings and equipment and breeding stock. Total cost of the program is estimated at $45.3 million. Export-Import Bank

* A credit for $7.7 million to Egypt to finance the purchase of two Allis-Chambers 68.5 MW Kaplan turbines, related equipment and services. The Qattara Hydropower and Renewable Resources Project Authority will construct a second powerhouse at the Aswan Low Dam, called Aswan II. The project will upgrade power for approximately one million consumers in the greater Cairo and Alexandria areas and will supply power for an additional 2 million new consumers.

* A loan of $11.7 million and a loan guarantee to United Technologies for an additional $1.5 million to Electrolima, a Peruvian government-owned utility, which will purchase for $15.7 million a 100 MW gas turbine unit to be installed at the Santa-Rosa substation, located within Lima. UT, the supplier, will also provide a control and command system, fuel forwarding equipment and related machinery, installation, training, spare parts and a service contract.

Organization of American States

* The United States has granted $100,000 to the OAS Department of Social Development, Food and Human Resources, bringing to $242,000 recent U.S. contributions to support small scale and cottage industries in Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Ecuador and Peru. Most of the grant will go towards purchase of equipment, supplies and training for community projects to complement OAS projects already in progress.

Recent agreements by international lending and financial institutions: World Bank

* An International Development Association (IDA) credit of $27 million to Bangladesh to help finance a $41.4 million flood control project, covering 195,000 acres, in three areas: Chalan Beel, Hail Haor, and Satla Bagda. The main investments will cover the construction of improvement of embankments, village roads, drainage works and gravity irrigation channels. In addition, groundwater resources will be investigated to establish the feasibility of shallow tubewell irrigation in the Hail Haor area. The IDA-supported project will be carried out within the framework of a new master plan, now in preparation, for the future development of Bangladesh's water resources. credit for $7.7 million to Egypt to finance the purchase of two Allis-Chambers 68.5 MW Kaplan turbines, related equipment and services. The Qattara Hydropower and Renewable Resources Project Authority will construct a second powerhouse at the Aswan Low Dam, called Aswan II. The project will upgrade power for approximately one million consumers in the greater Cairo and Alexandria areas and will supply power for an additional 2 million new consumers.

* A loan of $11.7 million and a loan guarantee to United Technologies for an additional $1.5 million to Electrolima, a Peruvian government-owned utility, which will purchase for $15.7 million a 100 MW gas turbine unit to be installed at the Santa-Rosa substation, located within Lima. UT, the supplier, will also provide a control and command system, fuel forwarding equipment and related machinery, installation, training, spare parts and a service contract.

Organization of American States

* The United States has granted $100,000 to the OAS Department of Social Development, Food and Human Resources, bringing to $242,000 recent U.S. contributions to support small scale and cottage industries in Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Ecuador and Peru. Most of the grant will go towards purchase of equipment, supplies and training for community projects to complement OAS projects already in progress.

Recent agreements by international lending and financial institutions:

World Bank

* An International Development Association (IDA) credit of $27 million to Bangladesh to help finance a $41.4 million flood control project, covering 195,000 acres, in three areas: Chalan Beel, Hail Haor, and Satla Bagda. The main investments will cover the construction of improvement of embankments, village roads, drainage works and gravity irrigation channels. In addition, groundwater resources will be investigated to establish the feasibility of shallow tubewell irrigation in the Hail Haor area. The IDA-supported project will be carried out within the framework of a new master plan, now in preparation, for the future development of Bangladesh's water resources.