Washington, April 21: The World Bank on Thursday strongly defended globalisation and free trade saying they have had a 'huge impact' on poor countries and helped reduce inequality as well as lifting millions out of poverty.
"We believe that globalisation and free trade has had just an absolutely huge impact on poor people and poor countries. I think what you see is a reduction in inequality between countries, but increases inequality within countries, especially the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD countries," World Bank President Jim Young Kim told reporters.
"We are also very much aware of the fact that there are many who have not benefitted from globalisation, who are very angry at the fact that they have not benefitted," Kim said at the start of the annual Spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
"We have been saying along with the International Monetary Fund, IMF and World Trade Organisation, WTO that trade has been an extremely important part of global economic growth, and it's been an extremely important part of the reduction in poverty, the tremendous reduction in poverty we have seen over the last 30 years," he said.
Kim said that "OECD countries were now looking very seriously at how they've done in terms of ensuring that globalisation and economic growth has been experienced by everyone. I think there is a lot of attention, and that's good. We continue to argue that free trade, more openness, is actually critical for the future of the world and there may be individual countries that choose to look inward, but just because those individual countries look inward doesn't mean everyone else is going to look inward," he said, adding that China was a good example.
"China is not going to stop trading with all of its trading partners and it's not going to stop continuing to work with Latin America. China's work in those countries has only gone up over the last few years, and I think it will go up further. So, we're trying to make the case," Kim said.