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'Disagree fundamentally': IMF chief on changing World Bank report to avoid angering China

After the inquiry revealed errors in the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Doing Business report, the World Bank stated that it would stop publishing it immediately. Georgieva, a Bulgarian citizen who took over the IMF in October 2019, has slammed the organization's involvement findings.

IMF chief denies changing World Bank report China gcw
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Washington D.C., First Published Sep 17, 2021, 9:48 AM IST
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Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF's head, challenged an independent inquiry that concluded she pressured staff at the World Bank to change a report to avoid angering China in her former post. After the inquiry revealed errors in the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Doing Business report, the World Bank stated that it would stop publishing it immediately. Georgieva, a Bulgarian citizen who took over the IMF in October 2019, has slammed the organization's involvement findings.

She stated in a statement that she disagrees with the conclusions and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities about her involvement in the World Bank's 2018 Doing Business report. The charges can harm her image and give fodder for long-time US opponents of multilateral bodies and their treatment of China. The US Treasury stated that the conclusions are "serious" and that it is "analyzing the study." The statement stated, "Our first obligation is to preserve the integrity of international financial institutions."

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Georgieva stated that she informed the IMF board of directors about the issue. The board is scheduled to meet to examine the situation, but no date has been set.
"We need to hear her side of the storey, but it doesn't seem great right now," said Justin Sandefur of the Center for Global Development, who has written extensively on the issues with the report's methodology.

The report's centrepiece rates nations based on business rules and economic changes, prompting governments to compete for higher rankings in order to recruit investors.
According to the research, Beijing expressed dissatisfaction with its 78th place position on the list in 2017, and the next year's report would have shown Beijing sliding even further.
The staff of the Washington-based development lender was working on the 2018 edition as the organization's leadership was engaged in delicate discussions to extend the organization's lending capital, which was reliant on an agreement with China and the United States.

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