Dominguez expects closer PH-WB relations

Published April 7, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III congratulated former US Treasury Undersecretary David Malpass for his appointment as the next World Bank (WB) president and expressed his confidence for a “much closer” relations with the global financial institution.

 Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (Bloomberg photo)
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (Bloomberg photo)

“We congratulate David Malpass on his election as president of the World Bank,” Dominguez told reporters in a mobile phone message.

“We look forward to working more closely with the World Bank in financing public goods specially physical infrastructure and investments in human capital, for the speedy alleviation of poverty,” he added.

Dominguez is scheduled for the first time to attend the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings next week, April 12 to 14, in the US capital.

In February, Dominguez announced that he was supporting the nomination of Malpass as the next chief of the Washington-based lender.

Dominguez had said that Malpass‘ leadership would be a good opportunity for the multilateral institution to work closely with the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In a phone conversation in February, Dominguez also informed Malpass of his proposal to the ADB to “reinvent itself and to realign its programs to meet new realities,” which the Finance chief first broached when he was in Yokohama, Japan in 2017, and again in Manila last year.

Dominguez noted that the center of gravity has now shifted decisively to Asia and its economies are now the principal engines of growth in the global economy.

He said a good opportunity exists for the World Bank and ADB to collaborate closely in the Asia-Pacific region given ADB’s “operational efficiencies and strong balance sheet, its in-depth knowledge and understanding of the region and the culture of its people because of its proximity, its sensitivity to the unique development needs of the region, and as a trusted brand in infrastructure finance.”

Malpass thanked Dominguez for his support and said he was looking forward to have further discussions with the Finance chief on the Philippines’ development agenda.

The Philippines’ expression of support for Malpass was among the first from a developing country.

Malpass was US President Trump’s nominee as World Bank president, replacing Jim Yong Kim, who resigned in January. He won unanimous approval from the institution’s executive board on Friday, continuing the 73-year tradition of an American running the world’s largest development lender.

Malpass, a former Bear Stearns and Co chief economist who advised Trump’s 2016 election campaign, was the sole candidate.