Korean-American Kim to lead World Bank
Updated: 2012-04-18 08:10
By Agencies in Washington (China Daily)
World Bank president-elect Jim Yong Kim (right) and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala wave after a private meeting in Lima on Monday. Ernesto Benavides / Agence France-Presse
The World Bank chose Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim as its next chief on Monday in a decision that surprised few but took beating an unprecedented challenge to the US lock on the Bank's presidency.
The Bank picked the 52-year-old US health expert and educator over Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala amid rising pressure from emerging and developing countries for the huge development lender to recruit one of their own for a leader.
Kim, the president of the Ivy League university Dartmouth College, will succeed outgoing president Robert Zoellick, a former US diplomat who is departing in June at the end of his five-year term.
After the first-ever open fight for the job, the Bank's directors expressed "deep appreciation" to Kim, Okonjo-Iweala and a third candidate, Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo, who withdrew from the race on Friday.
"Their candidacies enriched the discussion of the role of the president and of the World Bank Group's future direction," the Bank said in a statement.
"The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high caliber of the candidates."
Regarding Kim's nomination, China urged the World Bank to maintain the interest of developing countries under its new leadership.
China hopes the next World Bank president will continue to promote the World Bank governance reform and further improve the voice and representation of developing countries in the World Bank, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin.
He also called on the World Bank to further contribute to the reduction of global poverty and development for greater success.
China believes that all member states of the World Bank should earnestly implement the rules of openness, transparency and meritocracy in the election, which was decided by the G20 London Summit, said the ministry.