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World Bank head says new entrants 'will be welcome'

China Daily, July 14, 2014 Adjust font size:

New multilateral development banks will not be rivals of the World Bank Group, according to its head, dispelling doubts that other lenders would try to compete with the globe's largest development bank.

Initiatives such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and BRICS Development Bank are not considered a threat to the World Bank, said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

"World Bank welcomes new entrants," he said at a news conference on Tuesday in Beijing.

In October, Chinese leaders proposed building the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, aiming to boost funding for Asian countries in order to update their infrastructure.

The initiative was applauded by many countries but also sparked suggestions that the newcomer would be a rival to other lenders such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Kim said these new participants will be complementary in reaching the goal of eradicating extreme poverty.

Kim said World Bank issues loans of approximately $60 billion annually to developing countries, which is far from enough to meet the demand for infrastructure growth worldwide.

It's necessary for other banks to lend funds to their regional economies, he said.

The World Bank is willing to provide knowledge and assistance to newly established international financial institutions, he said, and to work alongside them to fight poverty, the biggest threat to every economy.

President Xi Jinping met Kim in the Great Hall of the People on Tuesday.

Xi said China expects to cooperate with the World Bank on key points of China's reform and development efforts and to forge a new type of partnership.

China is deepening reforms on many fronts, Xi said. "Under the new situation, there is great potential for China's cooperation with the World Bank," he said, according to an official press release.

Kim said he appreciates China's contribution to the reform of the World Bank and poverty reduction around the world over the past few decades.

He spoke highly of China's efforts to push forward reforms and opening-up.

In an interview with China Daily on Monday, Kim said the most exciting thing for him is that every time he comes back to China, its leaders give him an assignment, saying they want to work with the World Bank to try to solve many different types of problems.

The Chinese government really is thinking deeply about issues like urbanization, Kim said. It does not just want to manage the problem but is really looking at countries and groups that may have tackled the problem in an innovative way, he said.


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