NEW DELHI: World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Thursday gave an impassioned defense of the world’s leading multi-lateral institutions following Britain’s shock vote to exit the European Union.
Speaking in New Delhi, Kim said the need for multi-country cooperation was heightened “at a time when countries all over the world are looking inward and blaming their problems on other people”.
Without naming Britain, Kim criticized nations that he said were “trying to block their borders and trying to take themselves out of agreements with other countries”.
The victory for British campaigners seeking to leave the EU, and the protectionism espoused by US presidential candidate Donald Trump, have raised fears of a pullback from the so-called Bretton Woods institutions.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were founded in 1945—along with the United Nations—and led the rebuilding of the global economic system following World War II.
“The EU was one of the greatest examples of an attempt at multi-lateralizm,” Kim said at the conclusion of a two-day visit to India, on which he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers to discuss deeper cooperation.
He called such institutions the “key to peace and prosperity” saying “that is how we are going to solve the problems of the world.”
Britain’s surprise vote on Thursday June 23 sent shockwaves across global markets, caused the pound to crash 10 percent, and sparked political turmoil.
US presidential candidate Trump has campaigned on opposition to free-trade deals and advocated putting up more barriers to foreign competitors.