Korea’s Lee supports US World Bank choice Kim

Korea’s Lee supports US World Bank choice Kim

SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
Korea’s Lee supports US World Bank choice Kim

Jim Yong Kim, the U.S. nominee for the next World Bank president, leaves the Finance Ministry after a meeting with Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi in Tokyo April 1, 2012. REUTERS Photo

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak expressed strong support yesterday for Jim Yong Kim, the U.S. nominee to be the next World Bank chief, saying he is the right person to lead the global body.

“I think he is the best choice as World Bank chief,” Lee said at talks with the Korean-American physician, according to the president’s spokesman.

U.S. President Barack Obama last month tapped Kim, known for his work in global health campaigns against AIDS in Africa, to lead the World Bank.

Since the institution’s founding in 1944, Washington has always chosen its president. But this year it faces two challengers in Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Jose Antonio Ocampo of Colombia.

Kim is seeking to drum up support from major emerging economies on his tour, which is also taking him to Brazil, India and Mexico among other stops. He arrived in Seoul on Sunday after visiting China and Japan.
“The right person has been chosen as the World Bank needs change,” Lee said, praising Kim’s organisational management skills as Dartmouth College president.

“Kim was born in South Korea and watched its economic development. His experience... will contribute much to economic development in less developed countries,” the president said.