Paris rather favorable to the US candidate at the World Bank



PARIS (More Bank) – The French Minister of Economy and Finance Wednesday greeted the profile of the US candidate for the presidency of the World Bank while stressing that Paris would ultimately decide in consultation with its European partners.

"We believe that David Malpass is a good candidate," said Bruno Le Maire at a joint press conference with his American counterpart, Steven Mnuchin, in Bercy.

But, he added, "we belong to the European Union so there must be a European evaluation process with our European partners on this candidature".

Bruno Le Maire also highlighted two topics "that are decisive for the final decision of France and the European Union", namely the fight against climate change and support for the poorest countries.

Present at this press conference, David Malpass, assured that it would not reflect the commitment of the Washington-based institution in the fight against climate change.

"I anticipate that the World Bank will continue on its current trajectory, which includes loans related to the fight against climate change," he told reporters.

Current Undersecretary for International Affairs of the US Treasury Department and declared opponent of multilateralism, David Malpass has repeatedly criticized the World Bank but also the International Monetary Fund (IMF), two institutions "too intrusive" to his liking.

The US proposal still needs to be validated by the World Bank's Board of Directors.

The largest shareholder of the World Bank, the United States holds 16% of the voting rights, so that their choice is traditionally retained.

The incumbent president, Jim Yong Kim, resigned earlier this month, three years from the end of his tenure as head of the institution, to join the Global Infrastructure Partners investment fund.

(Myriam Rivet, Simon Carraud and Leigh Thomas)