There is now a faster global growth driven primarily by the US, China and India, World Bank president David Malpass has said even as he expressed concern over growing inequality due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said here is also the concern of inequality in terms of vaccinations and median income that”s not going up very fast for some countries.
“But there’s also the concern that there’s inequality. Inequality in terms of vaccinations, in terms of median income that’s not going up very fast for some of the countries and may even be going down. There”s the interest rate differential, where poor countries face much higher interest rates and they haven’t gone down the way global interest rates have done,” he said.
“There’s the good news that there is faster global growth driven primarily by the US, China, and India, having strong rebounds,” Malpass told reporters at the start of the Spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
The annual spring meeting, which is being held virtually, focusses on vaccines, climate change, debt and recovery.
Malpass said there is an inequality in terms of the bankruptcy process, which is not available to sovereign countries, so the poorer countries do not have a way out of these very heavy debt burdens.
“There”s also inequality in terms of access to credit with a lot of the stimulus going to the upper end, and people that don’t have pristine credit ratings, for example, or small businesses, new entrants, women that would like to start a business, having great difficulty getting credit,” he said.
According to Malpass, the World Bank and the IMF are working closely together to have successful implementation of the G20’s Common Framework to deal with unsustainable debt situations.
There was a call for the private sector to provide comparable treatment with regard to debt, he said.
Responding to a question, Malpass said that the slowness in the vaccine rollout, particularly in Europe, is concerning.
“It’s disappointing. We see in the news everyday some of the various challenges that the countries face. I fervently believe or wish for and hope for a faster rollout as excesses become available in other countries. And, we can look to the regulatory agencies to work smoothly toward their approvals so that more vaccines can be approved,” he said.
He said that people getting vaccinated is an important part of their safety and global recovery.
“So, I share that sentiment that Germany said today at the G20 that there may be a softening of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast related to the vaccine problem, and it redoubles everyone’s urgency and efforts to have more vaccines available worldwide,” Malpass added.
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