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Migration, an engine of economic growth: World Bank

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Lima: The World Bank, in its 2015-2016 Global Monitoring Report, has said migration is presently a permanent feature of the global economy and could be an engine of growth.

In the report, the institution’s President Jim Yong Kim on Thursday said the migrant crisis in Europe will prove to be good for the world economy, Xinhua reported.

The report was released prior to the World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund annual meetings scheduled to be held in Lima, capital of Peru, from Friday to Sunday.

“With the right set of policies, this era of demographic change can be an engine of economic growth,” said Kim, after the release of the report.

Subtitled “Development Goals in an Era of Demographic Change”, the report came as a jarring counterpoint to the attitude of many developed countries who see migration as something to be fought off.

From fiery rhetoric among Republican presidential candidates in the US to attack ads placed by the Danish government in Lebanese newspapers, migrants are often treated as pariahs that leech off dwindling public resources.

Kim rubbished this viewpoint, saying “if countries with ageing populations can create a path for refugees and migrants to participate in the economy, everyone benefits. Most of the evidence suggests that migrants will work hard and contribute more in taxes than they consume in social services”.

According to the World Bank’s analysis, the core evidence of this statement came from the difference in working-population percentages between developing and developed economies.

Its findings showed the share of global population of working age has peaked at 66 percent and is now dropping.

The report said the share of the elderly will double to 16 percent of the global population by 2050 while the number of children will remain steady.

Therefore, in many wealthier nations, a demographic imbalance threatens to bankrupt social services and public resources.

The nations that provide the vast majority of migrants, however, are comprised of “young, fast-growing populations that can expect to see their working-age populations grow significantly”.

“At the same time, more than three-quarters of global growth is generated in higher-income countries with much-lower fertility rates, fewer people of working age, and rising numbers of the elderly,” Kim said.

(IANS)

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After World Bank’s Head Quits, Donald Trump Likely To Determine The Successor

China, though a part of the World Bank, has thrown a challenge to it by setting up its own development banking institutions

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Trump, U.S.
Donald Trump. VOA

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced that he is stepping down as the head of the premier anti-poverty institution putting the likely choice of its future leadership in the hands of US President Donald Trump, a sceptic of international development.

Trump’s role is expected reinvigorate challenges to Washington’s monopoly on appointing the Bank’s head.

Announcing his decision on Monday, Kim said in a tweet: “It’s been the greatest privilege I could have ever imagined to lead the dedicated staff of this great institution to bring us closer to a world that is finally free of poverty.”

Kim, 59, who is dropping out 19 months into his second term on February 1, would be joining a private company and focus on infrastructure investments in developing countries, the Bank said.

The Bank’s CEO Kristalina Georgieva will become the interim president till a successor to Kim is appointed.

As the largest share-holder, the US by tradition appoints the head of the Bank, while Europeans determine the chief of the International Monetary Fund.

Kim was nominated for the job by former President Barack Obama in 2012.

Before Trump’s election, Kim was hastily re-appointed in September 2016 to a second term that began in July 2017 with an eye on pre-empting a possible Trump nominee getting the job.

Now, however, Trump will get an opportunity to nominate the Bank’s head.

Trump’s role will resurrect and strengthen challenges to the post-World War II model of the leadership of the 189-member bank that has always been determined by the US .

Already the US nominee was challenged for the first time in 2012 by two contenders.

Trump, U.S.
World Bank head quits, Trump likely to determine successor. VOA

Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo Gaviria eventually withdrew from the race, while Nigeria’s then-Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala lost when the Bank’s directors rubber-stamped Kim’s appointment.

Now there will be robust demands for reconsidering the US leadership of the Bank and stronger non-American contenders for the job.

Kim, a South Korea-born US citizen, was an unusual leader for the Bank: He was a medical doctor by training, a specialist in public health and an academic with a Harvard doctorate in anthropology who had led the Ivy League Dartmouth College.

But his background in health was a plus for the Bank’s mission of fighting poverty and promoting development.

Under his leadership, the Bank adopted in tandem with the UN the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and focusing on the bottom 40 per cent of the population in the developing world.

The Bank’s International Development Association, which funds programmes in the least developed countries, achieved two record replenishments during his tenure, the last one in 2016 for $75 billion.

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Last April, the Bank also increased its capital by $13 billion with the unexpected support of the Trump administration.

Kim also pushed the Bank’s cooperation with the private sector for financing development in the developing world, particularly in the areas of climate change and infrastructure.

China, though a part of the World Bank, has thrown a challenge to it by setting up its own development banking institutions.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), founded in 2016 is one of those institutions and several countries including India, Germany, Britain and South Korea have joined it. (IANS)