World Bank President Jim Yong Kim defended the Washington-based lender today, saying he doesn’t see “even slightly a diminishing” demand for its services from large emerging markets.
Nations such as China keep coming to the bank with specific requests, he said, citing a report that the lender is preparing for that country for later this year.
The largest emerging economies -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- say that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund don’t do enough to address underdevelopment and that Western countries exert too much control over their management. The so-called BRICS are setting up their own development bank that could help meet their infrastructure deficit, which Kim said is expected to reach $1 trillion in India alone in the next five years.
“It’s true that the BRICS countries, many of them are extremely well financed and have money, but they continue to come to us for very specific reasons,” Kim said at a press conference in Washington today. “I have no doubt in my own mind about our continued relevance for a very long time.”
Kim also said the lender is working on several projects with Egypt and, along with the IMF, is trying to help the country remove subsidies on fuel so that it can spend the money elsewhere.
“Every single one of the BRICS countries has an enormous infrastructure deficit that simply can’t be met by a single institution, certainly not the World Bank in and of itself,” Kim said.
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