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World Bank candidates due as deadline approaches

in International Business

World Bank candidates due as deadline approaches

The US is expected to announce its candidate for the next president of the World Bank as the deadline for nominations approaches.

Some of the potential candidates mentioned have included former White House advisers Lawrence Summers and the Indian-born head of Pepsi, Indra Nooyi.

A US citizen has always held the position since the World Bank was founded in 1944.

But there is likely to be a push for a candidate from the developing world.

South Africa is likely to announce an African candidate – expected to be Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The former Colombian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo is also likely to be nominated.

But with the US holding the most votes at the World Bank, which has 187 members, the vote on the next president should be a formality.

Nominations close on Friday.

‘Great’ candidates

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were created at the conference at Bretton Woods in 1944 as a means to regulate trade between nations in the aftermath of the Great Depression and World War II.

A US national traditionally heads the World Bank while a European runs the IMF – currently France’s Christine Lagarde.

But emerging economies have become increasingly unhappy with this arrangement and are pushing for change.

Brazil said this week that both Ms Okonjo-Iweala and Mr Ocampo would be “great” candidates to be the next president.

In a recent editorial, three former chief economists of the World Bank – Francois Bourguignon, Nicholas Stern and Joseph Stiglitz – argued for an end to the US “monopoly” on running the institution.

“To say it is merit-based, and to choose an American repeatedly, shows scant respect to the citizens of other countries,” they wrote.

The development economist Jeffrey Sachs has also argued for change, saying the World Bank should be led by a development expert.

The current President, Robert Zoellick, is to step down from his role at the institution when his five-year term comes to an end on 30 June.

Mr Zoellick, 58, was appointed to his role in 2007 by George W Bush.

Source: BBC

Tags assigned to this article:
World Bank candidateWorld Bank President

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