China backs Zoellick’s World Bank presidency

Beijing, June 22:

China has given its backing to Robert Zoellick, a former top US trade negotiator, in his bid for the presidency of the World Bank (WB). A finance ministry spokesman said Zoellick was a figure of global standing and “has rich experience in international communication,” according to the Xinhua news agency. The spokesman added that shareholder countries of the World Bank shared a common responsibility to select the right president. China is both a major shareholder and borrower from the bank.

Zoellick, the sole candidate for the position following Paul Wolfowitz’s controversial resignation, was interviewed on Wednesday by the development lender’s executive board, a bank official said.

US President George W Bush announced in late May he had chosen Zoellick, a former US trade chief and deputy secretary of state, to succeed Wolfowitz, who was forced to resign in a favouritism scandal.

The 24-member executive board will meet again on Monday to continue the selection process. Zoellick, 53, is currently the vice-chairman at Wall Street powerhouse investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Vietnam gets $300m

HANOI: The World Bank has approved more than $300 milion in loans for Vietnam to support reforms and boost social and infrastructure development. The credits, announced during a Washington visit by Vietnam’s president Nguyen Minh Triet, will fund projects to strengthen economic reforms and governance, boost university standards and build roads and bridges. — AFP