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Editorial: World Bank Warns Global Outlook Foresees Moderate Slowdown

Port Wings, 17 April 2019:

According to World Bank officials from the Development Committee, a ministerial-level forum of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, the global outlook foresees a moderate slowdown in economic activity, with lingering downside risks. Global trade growth has weakened, while investment prospects have softened; both of these remain important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and sustainable development.

Debt vulnerabilities persist, and policy uncertainty is weighing on confidence.  For developing countries, it is important to adopt growth-enhancing policies while containing risks and protecting the most vulnerable. The World Bank Group, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, is able to help countries in addressing these concerns.

The committee, which represents 189 member countries, underscored its support for the Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, as well as the overarching strategy guiding its work through 2030.  The committee noted the Bank Group’s progress on a set of policy reforms tied to the capital increase it approved a year ago for IBRD and IFC, which aim to deliver development results more effectively while making the institutions more financially sustainable and efficient.

The committee highlighted its support for the Bank Group’s work through the International Development Association (IDA), its fund for the poorest countries, including the Private Sector Window that allows the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to increase their investments in IDA countries and fragile situations.

The committee noted the strong start of the Bank Group’s Human Capital Project, with nearly 60 countries now participating. It also welcomed efforts to help developing countries expand access and make effective use of disruptive technologies to create opportunities for the poor. The committee reiterated the importance of delivering on the Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan and expressed its support for a strategic approach to help countries cope with issues of fragility, conflict, and violence.

The World Bank Group is well-positioned to help in these efforts. We have the right tools and resources, talented and professional staff, and a clear and urgent mission.

We will have to wait for few more months to see the real impact of continuing trade disputes between leading players and its cascading impact on smaller economies like India.

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