“We need more cooperation [and] greater economic integration and stronger partnerships than ever before if we want the world economy to return to higher rates of inclusive, sustainable growth,” World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim told a Brookings audience this week, on the eve of the annual meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund.
Dr. Kim spoke about the links among growth, poverty and inequality, and the World Bank Group’s role in contributing to progress in global development and eradicating extreme poverty.
He acknowledged the “storm clouds of isolationism and protectionism” that are gathering in the U.S. and around the world, but cautioned that we need more cooperation, greater economic integration, and “stronger partnerships” to face these challenges. Watch:
Noting that since 1990 more than 1 billion people have escaped extreme poverty, Dr. Kim also called attention to “very strong headwinds,” including a slowing global economy, falling commodity prices, stagnating trade, more developing countries in recession, slowing growth, and more than half the world’s poor living in fragile and conflict zones. “These are no ordinary times,” he said. “So, ordinary measures will not work. I would argue that this is precisely why the World Bank Group exists.”
On extreme poverty and inequality in particular, Dr. Kim observed that the level of inequality “constrains growth and it also breeds instability.” In this video clip, he adds that “inequality is not an unsolvable mystery,” referencing a new World Bank report, “Tacking Inequality Vital to Ending Extreme Poverty by 2030.” Watch:
Dr. Kim reviewed three pathways to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. These include accelerating inclusive and sustainable economic growth; investing more in human capital; and fostering resilience to global shocks and threats, such as climate change. He praised the work of COP21 that produced the historic Paris climate agreement, but urged the global community to “get to the task of financing and incentivizing the actions that will give us any chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.” Watch as Dr. Kim describes three approaches to “dramatically alter the trajectory of global warming”:
Watch the full video of the event, hosted by Global Economy and Development at Brookings and moderated by Vice President Kemal Derviş here.