tv World Bank President on Global Economic Trends CSPAN November 20, 2017 11:05pm-12:08am EST
then a look at argentine just -- argentina's long-term plan. from the hudson institute starts at noon eastern, also on c-span2. of thew, the president world bank talks about recent trends in the global economy and they can finance developing countries. from the national press club, this is one hour. [gavel pound] >> good afternoon and welcome. i am a former president of the national press couple -- club and currently a bureau chief with bank rate.com. -- the the world
--ional press club is working to foster a pre--- free press around the world. for more information, please visit the website and to donate programs offered to the public for the national risk of journalism institute, please visit the website. on behalf of members worldwide and would like to welcome our speaker. includes guests of our speaker as well as working journalists who are club members. we remind people if you hear applause in the audience we would like to note members of the general public at 10 so it is not necessarily evidence of a lack of journalistic integrity. we would also like to welcome c-span and other who are here today. speechur guests concludes we will have a question-and-answer time and i will ask as many questions as time permits.
it is time to introduce our head table guests. each to standu briefly as your name is announced. we will begin on this end of the ande welcoming and in turn student at georgetown university bravely studying journalism and government. she is working with the headliners team member who organized today's event. thank you for all your work. is a reporterich at investors business daily. vice president for external and corporate relations with the world bank group. nancy chen, anchor at our local nbc affiliate wj l.a. tv. and the chief executive officer at the world bank.
skipping of the podium, to my is executive in residence at american university and cochair of the npc headliners team. skipping over our guest speaker, donna is a writer at cnn money. kevin is the -- a captain with the u.s. navy, retired. director of first global challenge. thank you for your service, kevin. you earlier. a little sleight-of-hand and musical chairs. we have kevin. frank is chairman and ceo of fim investment group. a round of applause for our head table, thank you. [applause] >> now to our guest speaker. the world bank was created at the bretton woods conference in 1944 along with the international monetary fund, with which it is often confused.
the world bank might be described as the biggest community bank on the planet. it involves projects targeting community and local levels. projects like alleviating poverty and helping women con the economic ladder and those focusing on improving the health of people in the developing world. this is the work of the world bank. speaker holds a phd in a topology and is also a physician. he was born in seoul, south korea but spent most of his childhood growing up in iowa. he was courted back of his high school football team. hailing from a family of high achievers, his father taught dentistry and his mother got a phd in philosophy. he restored yesterday discuss the bank outlook for the world economy and some of the key projects and goals that has for 2018 and beyond. dr. kim began his first term as world bank president 2012, was
reappointed in september 2016 to a second five-year term. the world bank is comprised of five institutions provided both funding and technical assistance for reducing poverty and boosting prosperity around the world. effort. ambitious dr. kim did not come from the political or financial arenas. his background is in public health, medicine, and academic leadership. he is one of the founders of an organization providing community-based health care. he went on to lead the world -- worldnization health organization hiv-aids program. he served four years as president of dartmouth college. i his own admission a couple decades ago, dr. kim was part of an movement that sought to close the world bank. he is glad that live but failed. under his current leadership,
the world bank is calling for the end of extreme poverty i 2030 and two most prosperity by focusing on the bottom 40% of the population in developing countries. how to beat those goals? in a recent press conference, someim -- dr. kim gave ideas but also caution. he said after positive growth, byble economy is picking up investment remains weak. he noted his concern about risk including the rising protectionism, policy uncertainty, and potential market turbulence that could derail the global economic recovery. we have plenty to discuss. please give a warm welcome to dr. kim. [applause] dr. kim: thank you so much for the introduction. i will start with some comments but then i look forward to the
discussion. i am so glad to be at the national press club. almost know that in the midst of a frantic news cycle and competition for attention, i just want to step back a bit and reflect on what we have been doing at the world bank group to try to build what i have been calling the new foundation of human solidarity. this is at a time when the very foundations of human solidarity sometimesquestion and under attack. ease and stability are critical to growing the economy and helping people lift themselves poverty. we recently launched a report that surveyed 750 multinational investors and corporate executives. we asked them, what is most important to you when you think in a developing country. the top three issues were political stability, security, and the right regulatory environment.
all of which are key areas of focus for our work. some of the good news about the global economy, growth is robust worldwide. this year.2.7% last or, the highest quarterly growth rate since 2010. trade is taking up. millions of people each year continue to lift themselves out of poverty. but this is also a time when multiple crises are either in or looming. pandemics, climate change, famine impacting people of the world and a historic amount of people or been forced to migrate. countries in nearly every region are turning inward. international and homegrown terrorism affects every corner of the world. it often feels like a increasingly the interconnected global community is pulling apart, pulling away from each other. was foundednk
exactly to tackle these kind of challenges. if you read back to the bretton woods conference, it is striking how much the language of that time could apply today. we have a specific mission and goals i will talk about. as an institution, we are part of the post-1945 world order that was predicated on the notion that what is sex one city, one country, when nation, can have immediate and lasting impact on -- on the notion that one city, one country, one nation, what happens can have effect on all. peace and prosperity, in many ways was an american vision. long before it was clear that the allies would win world war ii, president franklin roosevelt began looking ahead at the world after the war. he knew that the existing institutions would not be enough
to shape the post world war order. there had to be an entirely new system that would not just prevent world wars but would ensure a lasting peace. president roosevelt knew that stable financial systems work critical. he tasked his treasury secretary paul, time, henry morgan to design it. the treasury department plan for a fund to oversee global financial stability and a bank to support reconstruction and development was the foundation for what became the imf and the world bank group. in the mount washington resort and bretton woods, a group of people met. at that time, the allied forces were fighting in normandy. so, the remarkable thing about the bretton woods conference is it happened when the war was still going on. china had a representative.
leadershipnder the of john maynard keynes and henry morgan thought were the leaders but the 44 nations that attended spoke about the must critical issues. secretary up in the conference, he said the goal was to create a dynamic world economy in which the people of able totion would be realize their potentialities in peace, to raise the run standards of living and enjoy the fruits of material progress. because freedom of opportunity is the foundation for all other freedoms. for the past 70 years, that world order, it nato, the wto, imf, the world bank group, has helped ensure relative peace and stability. from the very beginning the mission was to help ensure everyone has opportunities. freedom of opportunity. the world bank's first mission was to find reconstruction in
europe. the first loan was to france. after the announcement of the marshall plan at a commencement address at harvard in 1946 by general marshall, the focus shifted to development and poverty reduction. the institution evolved into the world bank group today. five institutions provide our countries with specialized financial tools and global knowledge. we're the only global multilateral development institution and the value proposition is that we bring knowledge from every corner of the earth to every one of our clients. the very first institution formed was the international bank for reconstruction and development. it uses its aaa rating, one of the best in the world, 15 basis points which is not quite as good as the u.s. treasury but
close. we issue bonds, borrow money, and provide loans to medical income countries. it is critical for us to invest in middle income countries because they are about one third of gdp. in addition to being major engines of economic growth, more than two thirds of people living in poverty living middle income countries. another arm of the bank is the international development association. it was founded at the request of president eisenhower. deep connections to the history of the united states. requested by president eisenhower in 1960's to provide close to zero interest loans with a maturity of about 40 years. a payback time of about 40 years in grants to the world's poorest countries. now we have about 75 countries that qualify for these low-interest loans. we also have a private sector arm. the international finance
corporation and vest in the private sector and developing companies. it makes equity investments. creates markets to bring in other private sector investment. the first loan ever provided was to the german company siemens who wanted to invest in brazil at a time when brazil was truly a frontier market. we have another agency. logix, sectors, entire countries by providing political risk enhancement. it actually invented political risk insurance. that is, if a company wants to invest in a country, purchase a company for example, and they are worried about bad things happening like for example a change of regime and the regime nationalizes that company, you can buy insurance to protect against that possibility.
we invented it. there are many, many companies that do it. it is sometimes a critical link to making a country and vest -- company and vest or not invest. forlly, we have settlement disputes. arbitration for international inventors. -- investors. several disputes related to nafta. every day, walking into the building we pass a huge sign that says "our dream is a world ree of poverty." in different ways, each arm of the world bank group contributes to that dream of lifting people out of poverty. one of the great untold stories as we made tremendous progress in the past three decades in poverty. the percentage of people in the world living in extreme poverty, less than one dollar 90 cents
per day, has gone from 35% 30 years ago to less than 10% today. one point one billion people afflicted themselves out of poverty since 1990, the majority of courseware in china which was responsible for lifting some hundred million people out of extreme poverty. but there is still a tremendous amount of work to do. some 770 million people still live in extreme poverty today. to make the dream of a world free of poverty or reality, we're using powerful financial tools. i like to say we're using the tools of the rich. rich people use these tools everyday to try to make themselves wealthier. we're trying to use these tools on their behalf of the poor. we have innovated a swap where parties exchange cash flows to achieve positions marmite with their risk flow. we invented the swap. we have now swept to mitigate
currency and interest risk. we're innovating new derivative to mitigate risks such as disaster, even whether risks. we are developing new tools of the time. as we use these tools of the rich, such as leverage, swaps, derivatives, and insurance, we're trying to create new ones every day that specifically are focused on serving the poor. after i became president of the world bank group i asked a pretty simple question, we say our dream is a world free of put ay but why don't we deadline on that so we adopted two goals. 2030d extreme poverty by and to boost shared prosperity, the incomes of the bottom 40% of developing countries faster than the growth of the economy. this was our first effort to
directly address the question of inequality. one year ago, i outlined the three ways we are working together. the first is to accelerate inclusive sustainable economic growth the second is to build resilience to shocks and threats pandemics,e change, refugees. finally by combining more effectively and people. the first strategy is to accelerate sustainable economic growth. last spring along with our colleagues we called for a completely different approach so developmentimize purposes by systematically investment. everywhere we operate we are asking a simple question, how can we maximize resources? what can we do to demise at the same time public debt?
we answer the question by trying to find win-win solutions. countries utilize these resources to meet development goals. there has never been a better time to try to crowd in private sector investment. right now there is over $10 trillion sitting in negative interest rate bonds. for the nonfinancial people here, this means and set of giving your money to a bank and having the pain you interest, you give your money to a bank and you pay them to hold your money. that is what a negative interest rate bond is. many have negative interest rate bonds and country and dollars are sitting in those bonds. another $24 trillion very low yielding government securities. five troy dollars in cash. $1000 bills sitting in people's saves. all of these are waiting for higher returns and we think we
can create situations where they can both get higher returns and we can achieve development goals. we feel that the only chance we meet the exploding aspirations of people all over the world is to use these market-based approaches to development. when it came time to replenish it isnd for the poorest, not a sustainable business opposition unless countries donate every three years. what we did on our last replenishment was that we got a and now we can borrow from capital markets with the equity that sits in ida. able to increase resources for africa and the poorest countries by 50%. the second filibuster is to build a resilience to overlapping shocks and crises. we are helping countries build resilience by finding new ways to share risk with the capital
market. i am a medical doctor and an anthropologist. i have not been trained and financed by the the last five years has been an intensive time for that kind of training. i was amazed at the kind of tricks that wealthy companies and wealthy people use every day that are completely legal and turn out very well for them. we are committed to using those goals. when it comes to crises like pandemic, rather than sharing our risk with capital markets that poor people often have to wait. we saw that with ebola. you see it again and again, panic at the height of the epidemic. you remember how panicked we were at the height of the epidemic. , neglect.lect, panic we want to avoid what happens as people quickly forget about these pandemics after the threat subsides. this year we took a large step to break that cycle.
we created something called the pandemic emergency financing facility. for the first time, we have actual pandemic and charts. dispersethat would funding to the poorest countries automatically when an epidemic reaches a crucial state. the first to provide any financial support during the ebola operate. that is not what we do but i happen to be an infectious disease doctor and i called my friends and find out this is the worst and never ever seen so we made an investment that it was probably 10 months too late. this new instrument will provide $50 million, as much as 50 my dollars right away out of a cash window but if the epidemic continues, once it crosses borders, once there's a certain number of cases, it will automatically disperse as much as $450 million. on a three-year bond, pandemic
bond, $450 million, is anyone going to buy this? they could lose. it is called capital at risk. meaning all of the 450 million could absolutely be gone and they would have none of their investment left. it turns out in today's market if you offer the right interest rate, they will buy it. so we sold it on the capital markets at around 8.7% total and now for the first time ever, we have insurance. we can move faster to prevent pandemics and now for the first with the is shared financial markets. we're asking, can we do this for other problems? why not famine? why not other humanitarian crises? can we create a famine bond? famine and churned? you at terry and catastrophe insurance? we're working on that now. investrd pillar is to more effectively. when announced a new accelerated effort called the human capital
project. we are partnering with the world's best human health economists and using the power to quantify the stock of human capital in the world and its impact on a phenom -- on economic growth. investing in people is the right thing to do an economically it may very well be the smartest thing to do. over the past year, we have done several different analyses and we have found investment in human beings, especially in health, education, and social protection are more powerfully correlated with economic growth and we previously thought. first we will grow economy, then the usualr people is but it turns out investing in people is economic growth. it will eventually include a ranking that will be very controversial but i believe we have a moral responsibility to reveal to our shareholders the powerful relationship between
investing in people and economic growth. more broadly, we are some of yoi use the term human capital. i do so because i am communicating directly with ministers of finance. i want them to know this is not about charity. it is about securing their country's economic future. all of these efforts, the three major efforts, inclusive growth, resilience to shocks and investing in people are focused on ensuring quality of opportunity. this january, president xi jinping made an important speech where he essentially set the global market system is the ocean we all swim in. any effort to turn it back to streams or lakes will fail. and he set forth this notion that the project of creating equality of outcomes has failed and now what we are trying to do
is create equality of opportunity. what will that mean? how far would we have to go? what we know is aspirations are going up everywhere as people see the way everyone else lives on their smartphones. aspirations are going up. aspirations linked to opportunity can breed dynamism and inclusive growth. but if there is no opportunity to achieve when you have seen how everyone is already living. it can lead countries down the path the fragility extremism and , eventually migration. as we work to end poverty around the world, we play a role in maintaining stability and opening markets. this is the path we believe to ensuring economic growth. global stability and open markets are critical for the united states. i corrupted muscatine, iowa. -- grew up in muscatine, iowa. whatever people say i was a quarterback, they think that is
cool, but we lost every single game under my great leadership. only 10% of my graduating class went to college. of the 10%, 90% went to community college. the rest went to work in factories, on family farms. as i talked to friends back home, they are going through some very difficult times. but we want to -- as the world bank group, the answer is not to turn inward. according to the u.s. chamber of commerce, international trade supports more than 41 million american jobs. our work helps support those jobs and create new ones. more than 50% of all u.s. exports are countries where the world bank has lending programs and we are helping open markets. crowding in the private sector in developing countries is the ultimate win-win. growing a robust private sector is a driver of economic growth and one of the keys to reducing poverty for those countries.
we are also cultivating an economic and business climate that allows u.s. companies to sell and compete in the developing world. one example is the ivory coast where cocoa exports are a n economic mainstay. for years farmers use it to dilapidateduck -- truck's because they do not have money to buy new vehicles. we teamed with the minnesota-based car company to start the co-op academy which trains farmers on business skills, financial management and the best agricultural practices. ifc supported a program that made it affordable to farmer co-ops for new trucks and tractors. today more than 120,000 farmers have received training. more than 66,000 farmers in 50 co-ops participated in the credit programs. cargo now is a more dependable supply of cocoa. they are working on another joint venture train more than 50,000 farmers in cameroon.
keeping markets open and creating new ones requires stability. we are focusing more of our work in areas of fragility, conflict and violence. this is critical to our goal of ending poverty. if current trends continue and instability continues, we estimate by 2030, almost 50% of the extreme poor will be living in fragile and conflict affected states. we created a private sector window for the poorest countries which will bring more investment to countries affected by fragility and conflict. we are working with partners like the united nations to prevent conflict in countries at risk of instability. in addition to the lives saved, if we can prevent conflict in countries that bear the direct cost, casualties and losses to economic growth, we would avoid over $34 billion of losses every year, just by preventing conflict and violence. this is not new work.
in 1995, as were raised in former yugoslavia world bank , experts begin preparing for the postwar reconstruction. just days after the cease-fire when the serbian section was still in flames, a world bank team landed on the ground and began assessments. they quickly finalized an emergency recovery project of $160 million and with the peace accords were signed, the bank had lined up $500 million from donor countries to accelerate reconstruction. america's military leaders are -- understand the necessity of development partners. earlier this year, more than 120 retired generals and admirals affirmed in a letter to congressional leaders that "the military will lead the fight against terrorism on the battlefield. but it needs strong civilian partners in the battle against drivers of extremism. lack of opportunity, insecurity,
injustice, and hopelessness." a world bank group is often that partner in places like iraq, for example, we are supporting the government and finding new ways to bring private investment into a country under the most difficult circumstances. years of war and neglect have damaged iraq's energy grid leading to daily blackouts , that cripple the economy. we helped the government bring in $375 million of private financing. this is while the conflict with isis was ongoing. for the northern region. off -- findingg support for the completion of the first phase of the new power plant that will supply about half of baghdad's energy. we do this with exceptional value. over the last several decades, the international community has contributed $19 billion to capitalize our middle income fund and ifc. since 1945, the united states has contributed $2.5 billion. we have been able to take that
$19 billion in overall investment to fund more than $900 million. we are getting close to $1 trillion in loans and financing in developing countries. we have also provided -- put $15 billion in reserve and transferred $28 billion to our fund for the port. we actually support our own fund for the poorest. for every dollar we invest, we are able to have an impact that his tens and hundreds of times more powerful than if they put their money directly in the form of grants into budgets of developing countries. for most of my adult life, i have worked to provide health care to people in some of the poorest countries in the world. the organization i cofounded, partners in health, has worked for three decades around a principal we call making a preferential option for the poor, borrowing from latin american catholic theology. a preferential option for the
poor requires us to work to ensure that everyone in our community is the focus, had access to health care, nutrition, education, and a safe place to sleep. when i became president of the world bank group, i brought that philosophy with me. a moral obligation to provide everyone in our client countries with opportunities to achieve their highest aspiration. helping poor countries develop is not an exercise in charity, it is an investment in a stable, secure more prosperous world. , improving stability in countries emerging from conflict and investing in poor countries wracked by hopelessness and frustration are good for the entire world, including the united states. as i said before, investors above all, are looking for stability. we are working toward that goal every year. -- every day. let me make one other less obvious point. strong american participation in multilateral institutions and multilateral development is an opportunity to promote principles we value as a nation,
respect for self reliance, equality of opportunity, openness and fairness, and are -- our regard to the belief of others. those principles are embedded in the foundation of our institution. to go back to henry morganthough, he told the delegates assembled in new hampshire that the new financial axiom -- the new financial order would be based on an elementary economic axiom, he said austerity has no fixed limits. it is not a finite substance to be diminished by division. the more of it that other nations enjoy, the more each nation will have for itself. for seven decades we have helped billions lift themselves out of poverty. we have contributed to maintaining peace and stability around the world. if we have the right resources and fully commit to this effort, we can do the same for decades to come and help build the kind of world that we will be proud to leave to our children. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you. we have a very engaged audience. we have had no shortage of questions. having been in this position a number of times where we got no questions we are happy to have , the audience participate. obviously, the world bank's largest shareholder is the u.s. this seems to be the point you ended your speech on about the engagement of the united states government on the global stage. the u.s. has long supported the mission and goals of the organization. do you worry that under the current administration the support for the world bank and related institutions will be cut back? >> for 70 years, under many different administrations, we have always valued and worked hard in maintaining the relationship with the united states. i have to tell you, we are working very closely with the u.s. government.
we just with ivanka trump, with her advocacy, we were able to raise a huge amount, $350 million in four months which will be translated into we help -- we hope multibillion-dollar fund for women entrepreneurs in developing countries. ivanka has promised me she will be involved herself and mentoring these young women entrepreneurs. this is an innovation. we have never had this financing for women entrepreneurs before. we have been in discussions with other parts of the administration as well. the treasury, the u.s. treasury is the governor of the world bank group. we have been working very closely with them. the people in treasury have raised a number of very legitimate questions that we have to resolve as we are going through a process of trying to improve our capital position. we feel those questions are perfectly legitimate and that we
have good answers for those questions. i remain optimistic. it is actually kind of rare that people from the white house would come to us with innovative ideas about what we could do. now that people in the white house know our business model so well, we are hoping there will be more joint work. >> i'm glad you mentioned ivanka trump. that is been a headline generating relationship. could you talk about what her current involvement is in this project? this is a standard world bank project. the financing will be provided to countries and individual entrepreneurial based on the rules of the world bank group. ivanka will not have any role in deciding when the money goes. her role has been an advocate for the idea. and then her role will be to mentor the people who were given these grants. the process of deciding where it goes is going to go through the
standard world bank process which includes all the different countries that have contributed to the fund, which has been 15 countries that have contributed to the fund. >> what will she do? >> first of all it was critically important for her to have championed this fund to begin with. we are creating a network. what often happens is that we provide women with tiny loans, and the women do very well. but very few of them are able to go from those tiny loans to actually creating a formal business. this is that fund will help them create that business. when they create that business, we will give them access to an online virtual network. if they have a question, look, i am trying to do-- put my hr system together, they would type it in or get on the phone. then there will be a network of entrepreneurs, most of them will be women entrepreneurs, who will provide them direct feedback on
how they can solve their problems. she has told us she will be part of that network. >> we will come back to the issue of women's participation in the global economy. let's stick on this theme of globalization and the would-be reversal of it. even the waves of nationalism that have been seen around the world, how is that affecting your mission today and how concerned are you about it endangering the mission in the future? >> we are seeing lots of different political developments in different areas. we are, by articles of agreement, we are prevented, for bitten from getting involved in the internal politics of any member countries. we are officially a nonpolitical organization. of course, we have to watch carefully because things that happen on a political level have a huge impact on the economy. when we say policy uncertainty, we are not sure what will happen with a different trade agreement in the united states. we are not sure what will happen with brexit. our role is to follow these
developments as close as we can and prepare countries for the various things that might happen under these different political decisions. our role is not to make any judgment on what happens politically, but to prepare for the fallout when they do happen. >> share. -- sure. we understood from your speech that embarking on all these innovative financial strategies to take a bet against the worse case scenario, such as a pandemic. that is placing a financial bet. if you are placing financial bets with the future of the political outlook come are you -- outlook are you looking from , backing away from globalization? figuratively speaking. mr. kim: i am an anthropologist. whenever someone uses a bunch of words like globalization, my first question is, what do you mean by that? i do not see trade decreasing right now. i see trade increasing. when you have someone like
president xi who makes the kind of statement he did, he was essentially saying unless we have open borders, more trade, more movement of ideas, capital, people, the world is in trouble. we are and exactly moving in -- and i thoroughly -- we are moving in that direction. the key is to make sure if you use his analogy, if it is the ocean we all swim in, you have to make sure everyone can swim. that is what we are doing. there is always and constantly a drumbeat of saying let's not do so much for other people, let's do things for ourselves. at different times that has gone up and down. right before the united states joined britain in world war ii, that was exactly the conversation they were having in the united states. i think that kind of language goes up and down. but i think it is very hard to imagine a world in which every country in the world will close
up. the countries that close their border to trade will suffer because there is no talk of that in the african countries, the east asia, certainly. if one or two countries decide to stop trading, that will be a disaster for that country. >> let's talk about the role of women. how does the world bank promote development for when women one entrepreneurs are a minority in developing countries? what kind of role will it create created in the summer play in that? >> my first came to the bank and before i came to the bank, i heard a lot about gender data. gender informed project. is that real? it turns out the first thing you have to do is know what impact your projects are having on women. we did not collect that information. we thought these projects are working or not working. but when we took the next step
to say, is it working for women? it really informed the work we were doing in a far more powerful weight than i thought it would be. now every single project before it goes to the board, we have to know what the impact on women will be. whether women are included. we have also focused -- we have invested in some banks in developing countries and we have encouraged them to set up specific branches for women. women will go into their traditional banks and be ignored. the data is absolutely overwhelming. the greater participation of women will lead to significant economic growth. these numbers are easily quantifiable. the message is very clear that creating situations where women can work, where women have, for example, child care so they can work, these are critical for economic growth. these are not issues of justice alone. they are very much issues of
justice, but they are also issues of economic growth that is left on the table because you have not taken the time to make access to finance, markets, for women. >> we tend to be u.s. centric in the united states. what are the challenging developing countries for women and where would you hope or expect to see progress over the coming decade? >> there are great differences. let me give you some examples. there are places in the world where very strict laws restrict the movement of women. there are also places in the world that are very advanced economies where still women can't participate in the economy. korea. it is interesting. when i go to korea, because i was born there, i speak the language, i tend to be disinhibited. i say exactly what i think to the koreans. what i said to them is sexism is one of the greatest challenges. korea has the lowest female participation in the workforce
of any country. they are literally leaving many, many gdp growth points on the table by not making it possible. japan also has this issue. prime minister abe has made it a priority. he is creating things like a professionalize childcare workforce. he is pushing so that women are on the boards of the major companies. he has made a part of his policy to bring women into the workforce. i think that is a very wise thing to do. it will be culturally difficult, but now korea has to focus on doing that. of course other east asian economies as well. we really believe that the countries that will do the best are the countries that understand the importance of women in every aspect of life. >> there is the role of leadership in organizations such as yours and one of those leaders sitting to my left, the questioner says because there has been so much change in the
world and possibly that is reflected in changes in the world bank, do you think the next president of the world bank should be a non-american woman, perhaps from asia or elsewhere in the world? after all, these are the regions that still need the most from the world bank. doesn't having an american traditionally as the head of the organization hurt its standing around the world? >> a couple of points. first of all, when i leave the world bank, the good news is i will have no influence on who the next president of the world bank will be. for good or bad, the global system sort of has a set of informal agreements. the head of unicef is always an american. the head of the world health organization is never an american. the head of the u.n. is never from the permanent five of the security council. americans have a few slots, one is the world food program, the other is unicef, and the other
is the world bank group. i think the board of the world bank should choose whoever is the best candidate. there are candidates in this room who would be great. but, i think that is the issue that has to be resolved. there has been this informal dividing up of positions in the world. we will have to decide how that is going to work. are we going to go away from that and make every position open for everyone? maybe. but as they say, that is above my pay grade. [laughter] in terms of deciding. i think leadership can come from anywhere. i will tell you one story. a leader of a great nation in asia who i have become friends with, he asked me about the election process last year.
i said to him -- he said to me, what is the issue? i said, i think people are sensitive about an american continuing to have this job. he looked me in the eye and in trying to give me the highest possible complement, he said but jim, we have never thought of you as an american. [laughter] you know, i have played football in iowa in high school. i am in so many ways an american, but i speak freely -- three languages. i spend a lot of my time in africa. i think that no matter what your citizenship is, if you care about these issues, if you care enough to learn languages, if you care enough to spend time in africa and south asia whatever , your nationality, your ability to embrace the entire world should be the top criterion for becoming president of the world bank. >> a question about the relationship with a current administration.
the treasury secretary recently called on the banks to reduce lending to middle income countries that have developed significant resources of their own, saying that the world bank program should be "tailored to help fully transition those ours off donor assistance." what do you think of that and are there plans to look into that suggestion? >> looking into it now. it is a perfectly legitimate and important question for us to address. here is how it works. we are actually a bank. people have said, you guys are like a bank with a brain, or a university with a lending arm. we are kind of both of those things. i have 3000 phd's who work at the world bank group, some of the smartest people i have met in my life. it is a living, breathing kind of an academic institution, but it is also a bank. the first rule of any bank is you have to have a diversity of investments. if we were to get out of middle income countries, and some people say you should only work in fragile and conflict states,
but if we did that, our aaa rating would no longer be a aaa rating. there is a genius to 70 years of putting this institution together. it is a combination of less risky investments with very risky investments. we are not being asked to do even riskier investments, but in order for us to do that, we have to have some balance in our portfolio. more importantly, middle income countries is where the 70 plus percent of the extreme poor live. just because of their size. if we were to neglect middle-income countries altogether we would have to give , up on this mission of extreme poverty. we do not want to do that. this is truly a cooperative. i can't stress enough, in 1945, they were looking backwards historically. they said wars in europe of currency fluctuations that went up and down. everyone -- those of you who are in the financial world, the bigger thy neighbor approaches
where you tried everything you could to devalue your on current these are the the others -- visa others, these things were happening every day. there was no place people could go to talk together if there was conflict. many would say that the post-1945 world order has led to great thing. the european union, we have had not, we have not had wars in europe. in the case of the world bank group, it is truly a cooperative. usually, we try to work by consensus. this is the place where despite the fact that countries will be actively at war with each other, they can get together, sit at the table, and talk about how can we help somalia? how can we help the refugees? what can we do after the hurricanes in the caribbean? there is a place where whatever conflict is existing on a political realm, we can talk about things that we want to do for the poorest people in the world. i can't stress to you how important it is to have that. if we got rid of the interesting
-- existing institutions, we would have to invent them. again. >> this is a question about how things have evolved over the years. someone asked, do you partner with organizations such as the gates foundation and other peer organizations like that and how , does that relationship work and how does it change your work? >> one of the things i've tried to do in the last 5 years is to completely change the way we work with other organizations. sheila has been at the center of that. one of the things was that i came to this job, and the secretary-general of the united nations was ban ki-moon, my homeboy from korea. we met, and we hit it off right away. >> do you call him that? >> i call him a very honorific term for someone who is come before you.
it was easy for us. i got into a very culturally appropriate relationship with him where i used an honorific language with him. he did with me as well. there was one day where we were at an event and president clinton happened to be there we . we were speaking to each other in korea. he says, what are you all talking about? you guys are going to take over the world. we would go to places and we traveled a lot together. we traveled to some of the most difficult places in the world. we would be there in a room full of military people, heads of state, and we would start speaking to each other in korean. it would be about what we are going to eat tonight for dinner. they always thought something was going on. [laughter] what really was going on is that we have now brought together the united nations and the world bank in a way it has never been before. when he and i traveled for the first time to africa, he landed on the ground and said the world bank president and the secretary
general of united states had -- united nations had never traveled together before. when theseo institutions were created, that was kind of the idea. these institutions would work together. the person in the u.n. who really was most important in bringing the relationship together was antonio guterres , now the current secretary general. we think that this relationship will continue. it will get even stronger. u.n. s just the with foundations we have made , lots of effort to do more with foundations and we worked on lots of specific issues. the other thing we are doing as we are saying to the foundations and to the donor countries, we have this -- it is like a global public good, and that is our aaa rating. because we borrow at low interest rates, what we are telling everybody is you can give $10 million directly or you can take the $10 million and combine it with a loan, and
instead of giving $10 million of grant and $40 million of relatively high interest loans, you can combine those two. get $50 million of 0% interest money they have to pay back in 20 years. that is a fantastic way of stretching resources, which i think we will have to do more and more. >> we talked about human capital investment. view of robotics, artificial intelligence and automation? that has ramifications with respect to the workforce going forward. >> national press club is going to asked me a lot of tough questions. i talked about it a little bit in the speech. here is what worries me most. little children -- will everybody have access to high-speed internet? is so thatestimate
all of africa will have access to 4g lte by 2020. not everyone will be able to afford smartphones, but it will all know someone who has one. they are looking at how everyone lives in the world. what we know happens is that if you have access to the internet, your aspirations go up. the income to which you compare your own, we call reference income, goes up. you want higher income, you have higher aspirations. 1959.born in korea in having high aspirations is great. in the context of higher aspirations that come from looking at your smart phone and being on the internet, at the same time, technology is eliminating lots of jobs. ask thesk the job -- question, how many jobs will be eliminated by automation in india? is 66%.mation ethiopia, 85%. jobs will disappear. will there be new jobs created?
i think we have to look for completely different models for how countries will grow. the normal assumption is that you go from agriculture to light manufacturing, garments, shoes, then to heavy industry. right now, there is not a single african country that has reached the level of efficiency of bangladesh in garments. what i hear from the 3-d printing companies is that 3-d printing will make our -- all the garments and shoes soon. people say not so soon. i don't know the answer, but this is why we are focused on human capital. the one thing we know that will be viable the matter which direction the global economy goes is healthy people, with good mines, who have been educated. the reason we are creating this ranking and controversy is because, unless everyone gets on board, we are trying to improve their human capital, we will see extremely unhappy people with high aspirations. programll bring this
and to a soft landing. before we conclude i would like to remind the audience about upcoming events. on december 12 we will have a headliners book event with donna brazil. i believe she has been in the news lately. she is the former dnc chair and longtime democratic strategist who shares her new book. -- new book.rump we'll have an nbc headliners breakfast with walter isaacson and he will talk about his new book about leonardo da vinci. before we ask the last question, we have a traditional ceremony here at the national press club in which we truly do present a token of our appreciation. that is the iconic national press club coffee mug. there you go. [applause] our last question, this is not necessarily one of the harder questions we could have asked today, but obviously you
are president of the world bank, who balances the check in your family? [laughter] >> not me. my wife does. let me just leave it at that. [laughter] short and sweet. how about a round of applause for our guest speaker. [applause] >> we would like to think our national press club staff, including the journalism institute in the broadcast organizing today's event. you can find more information about the national press club on our website. you can get a copy of today's program. please visit press.org. with that, we are adjourned. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
on c-span two. a look at argentina's changing political landscape and some of the reforms proposed by the president after its midterm elections. live coverage from the hudson institute starts at noon eastern, also on c-span2. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> next, a look at a new government report on u.s. retirement rates from washington journal, this is 30 minutes. host: this week we take a look at a new report on how americans are doing in saving for retirement.