Has the World Bank changed its report to avoid angering China? .. Responsible responses

International Monetary Fund CEO Kristalina Georgieva disputed the conclusion of an independent investigation that during her previous job at the World Bank she lobbied employees to change a report in an effort to avoid angering China.

Based on the findings, the World Bank announced that it will immediately suspend the Doing Business report after the investigation uncovered irregularities in the 2018 and 2020 reports.

Georgieva, a Bulgarian who took over the presidency of the International Monetary Fund in October 2019, rejected the findings of this report.
Georgieva announced that he had informed the International Monetary Fund Council of the situation.

“Neither in this case, neither before nor after, I have not put pressure on team to manipulate the data, “he told IMF officials Friday.

“I ask staff to check, re-check and double-check, but I’ve never changed or tampered with what the data tells us,” he added.

“They are basically in disagree with the results and interpretations of the “data breach investigation” in how much they relate to my role in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2018, “said Georgieva in a note.

These allegations could damage its reputation and provide material to Americans who have long criticized multilateral organizations and their treatment of China.

“These are dangerous conclusions,” the US Treasury said in a note, noting that he was “analyzing the report”.

“Our primary responsibility is to maintain the integrity of international financial institutions,” he added.

“We should hear his (Georgia) version of events, but things are not going well at the moment,” said Center’s Justin Sandfor. for International Development, which has written extensively on issues with the report methodology.

He added: “The allegations that the IMF chief was involved in the manipulation of the indictment statements are very dangerous,” adding that “this seems like a serious blow to credibility.”

Change the classification of China

The important report ranks the countries in based on business laws and economic reforms and caused competition among governments for higher positions to attract investors.

According to the survey, Beijing complained that it ranks 78 on the 2017 list, and the following year’s report should have shown Beijing to rank lower.

The team of the Washington-based bank was preparing the 2018 report while its leadership was engaged in delicate negotiations to increase the loan capital, which was subject to an agreement with China and the United States.

In the last few weeks before the report was released in late October 2017, then World Bank President Jim Kim and then CEO Georgieva asked staff to take in considering the update of the methodology on China, according to the report of the studio legal Wilmer Hill.

Kim discussed the rating with senior Chinese officials who expressed dissatisfaction with their country’s rating and aides raised ways to improve it, according to a survey summary released by the World Bank.

Among the most important achievements of Kim has reached an agreement to increase the resources of the World Bank by 13 billion dollars.

The deal required the support of then US President Donald Trump, who opposed concessional loans to China, and Beijing, which agreed to pay more for the loans.

At the pressure of senior management, the bank’s employees changed some of the data that raised China’s rating in 2018 by seven places to 78th – the same place it occupied the previous year, according to the survey, which analyzed 80,000 documents and interviewed more than 30 current and former employees in Bank.

for pluralism

Georgieva berated a senior World Bank official for “mishandling the bank’s relationship with China and not appreciating the importance of the Doing Business relationship to the country,” according to the report.

After making the changes, I thanked him for “playing his role in the cause of pluralism”.

Georgieva in He later visited the home of the editor in charge of the report to obtain a copy and thanked him for helping “solve the problem”.

Paul Romer, Nobel laureate and then World Bank chief economist, resigned in January 2018 after telling a reporter that the classification methodology had been changed in a way that could have given the impression that political considerations had affected the results, in especially for Chile.

At the time, the World Bank vehemently denied any political influence on the rating.

Romer told AFP in an interview last Thursday that while working for the World Bank, she was unaware that Georgieva was lobbying staff for China, although she had “doubts,” he said.

As for the ratings, he said that when he asked these questions, “Cristalina came up with a way to cover it up, to cover it up”.

“My manager they were people with a lack of integrity, it was unbearable, “Romer said, adding that” the kind of intimidation this relationship describes was real. “

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