World Bank’s new Chief says won’t bring disruption

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David Malpass, the newly installed president of the World Bank,  said that he would bring continuity rather than disruption to the multilateral lender on issues ranging from climate change to its relationship with China and its internal structure.

Malpass  made his debut  at the helm of the World Bank  in global development on Tuesday.

The conciliatory approach taken by Mr Malpass, a former senior Trump administration official and harsh critic of multilateral institutions, comes on the heels of his smooth campaign to secure the World Bank presidency, with no rival candidate emerging to challenge him for the job.

Malpass said he’s concerned the global economy isn’t growing fast enough to lift people out of poverty.

“It’s very important that global growth be faster,” Malpass told reporters on Tuesday, in his first media appearance since being confirmed last week as the development lender’s chief. “That’s a key part of meeting the challenges in poverty, on shared prosperity, to have more growth from the developed countries as well as the developing countries.”

One main concern with the installation of Donald Trump’s ally at the helm of the World Bank has been that he might push it to slash its financing of climate change projects. But Mr Malpass said climate change was a “key problem” facing the world that needed to be addressed, clarifying that he would not renege on a move by the World Bank to stop funding coal-based projects.

“The World Bank board and the governors have established a policy on that. I don’t expect a change in that policy,” he told reporters.

“The mission of the bank is urgent, and that’s because every day more people are needing jobs and working in challenging situations, either in fragile or conflict states,” said Malpass, a former senior Treasury official who was nominated for the World Bank position by President Donald Trump.

Malpass said there was no need for a restructuring at the development lender, though he’d like to see it focus its programs on specific benchmarks, such as raising median incomes. He also said that the bank will continue to fight climate change, which he described as a “key problem.” The U.S. under Trump has pulled back from international efforts against global warming.

source: Bloomberg, Financial Times

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