WASHINGTON – The head of the World Bank said on Tuesday that the institution’s relationship with China had evolved, which is why the Asian giant should borrow less money and increase its contribution in the future.
David Malpass made these remarks during a conference at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC.
Malpass stressed that China had made great economic progress in the past few decades, meaning the country has to change its relationship with the WB.
The WB’s latest strategic plan for China emphasizes the development of services and measures to face environmental and social imbalances, establish goals to reduce pollution, increase energy efficiency and improving access to education and health care.
In 2017, China was the international organization’s biggest borrower, followed by India and Indonesia.
The Asian nation later dropped to the fourth spot in the rankings in 2018 and is currently the sixth-largest borrower in 2019.
China received $2.42 billion in WB loans in 2017, a figure that dropped to $1.78 billion in 2018 and only $1.33 billion this year.
The WB boss’ speech came a month ahead of the upcoming annual assembly held by the entity and the International Monetary Fund, scheduled for mid-October in the United States’ capital.
Malpass, who was nominated by US President Donald Trump, has been at the helm of the institution since April, when he replaced Jim Yong Kim.
Traditionally, the WB is usually spearheaded by an American, while the IMF is led by a European economist.
Before taking over his new post, Malpass was a strong critic of multilateralism, accusing the WB of “going too far” by giving excessive loans to China with the argument that the Asian giant is no longer a developing country.
Nevertheless, he has softened his views in recent years and during his tenure as deputy treasury secretary in the Trump administration, he pushed for the US to approve a capital increase of $13 billion for the WB.