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World Bank's new president skips China's Belt and Road for Africa trip

26 April 2019 - 102   - 0

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 40 world leaders and scores of finance officials, including International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, are gathered in Beijing for China’s second Belt and Road infrastructure summit, but the World Bank’s new president isn’t among them.

David Malpass, fresh from a senior Trump administration post at the U.S. Treasury Department, is instead making his first foreign trip as the World Bank’s leader to sub-Saharan Africa to highlight his vision for the bank’s poverty reduction and development agenda.

A World Bank spokesman said Malpass will be traveling this weekend to Madagascar, Ethiopia and Mozambique before flying to Egypt and a debt conference in Paris. Malpass has said that Africa is a key priority for the bank due to its high concentration of the world’s poorest people.

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva, who had been acting president during the leadership selection process, is representing the institution at the summit and had accepted China’s invitation before Malpass started at the bank on April 9, the bank spokesman said.

Former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim attended China’s first Belt and Road summit two years ago.

Leaders of two of the countries on Malpass’ trip, Ethiopia and Mozambique, are among a number of African leaders also attending this year’s summit.

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