IMF director accused of lobbying to help China

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva was under fire on Thursday, blamed for having, while in post at the World Bank, pressured to modify a report in order to spare China, which she denies.

WilmerHale law firm investigation uncovers irregularities in the drafting of the 2018 and 2020 editions of the report Doing Business from the World Bank, which scrutinizes business conditions in different countries. In the 2017 ranking, China was unhappy with its 78e place.

At the end of October 2017, shortly before the publication of the 2018 edition, the World Bank was engaged in delicate negotiations with Beijing. Senior Chinese officials were reportedly appalled at the country’s ranking. Kristalina Georgieva, who was then managing director of the World Bank, and Jim Yong Kim, who was president, would then have asked their teams to adapt the methodology, to spare China, according to this survey.

Kristalina Georgieva berated a senior World Bank official for “mismanaging the Bank’s relationship with China and not appreciating the importance of the report Doing Business for the country ”, according to the report, which summarizes the analysis of 80,000 documents and interviews with several dozen employees, current and former.

Under the pressure, his teams would then have modified some data, and allowed China to keep its 78e up instead of tumbling down seven rows. Kristalina Georgieva then thanked this official for having “contributed to multilateralism” and helped “to solve the problem”, reports the survey.

“Concerning conclusions”

Kristalina Georgieva, who took over as IMF head in October 2019, has refuted these accusations. “I fundamentally disagree with the conclusions and interpretations” of this survey “with regard to my role in the report Doing Business of the World Bank of 2018 ”, she reacted in a statement sent to AFP. “I have already held a meeting with the IMF board on this subject,” she added.

The World Bank, for its part, announced the immediate suspension of this report, which scrutinizes the regulatory framework for SMEs in 190 economies – conditions for launching their activities, having access to electricity or credit or paying. their taxes.

The US Treasury reacted Thursday, reporting “worrying findings,” and said it was analyzing the report. “Our primary responsibility is to preserve the integrity of international financial institutions,” he said in a statement sent to AFP.

These changes in the establishment of the classification had, in January 2018, pushed to the resignation of the former chief economist of the World Bank Paul Romer, nobelized a few months later.

Watch video

Leave a Comment