New World Bank CEO defends globalisation, warns against protectionism

Mark Ross
By Mark Ross
March 22, 2017Politicsshare

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva made a spirited defense for open markets and cross-border investment during her first official trip to China on March 20.

“What is hitting us in the last six, seven years has been stalling productivity. (It) doesn’t want to go up. And we know that one of the factors to increase productivity is competition and division of labor. So the very thing that may help us to boost innovation, to bring an increase in productivity, is now questioned,” Georgieva said.

This is the paradox the global economy is currently facing, as some countries shift toward more protectionist policies in the wake of increased concerns around terrorism.

With global trade now being so integrated and interdependent, Georgieva commented that it is impossible for those who are already on the same boat to say that it is only your end of the boat that is sinking.

Georgieva said the World Bank continues to work with the Chinese to open up its domestic market to competition, as China’s contribution to economic growth is significant. “We have to find a way to collaborate and use the advantage of division of labor within and across countries effectively.”

Georgieva also said that the biggest challenges for the World Bank continues to stem from social instability and famine, with countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and northern Nigeria facing continuing crises.

“Our biggest fear is actually related to that kind of devastation that comes from combining the force of nature and then the evil of man.”


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