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John Dimsdale Oct 19, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are also meeting on strategies to lift poor countries out of poverty. Robert Zoellick, who became president of the World Bank in July, is floating some new ideas for raising money. As John Dimsdale reports, corporations would make donations.


John Dimsdale: Robert Zoellick told the Financial Times “a couple of private-sector companies” have offered, for the first time, to contribute to the World Bank’s international development fund.

The bank won’t say which companies, since the board has yet to approve.

But Fred Bergsten, at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, thinks the private sector would have good reason to contribute:

Fred Bergsten: It would promote the kind of world that’s profitable for them. If they can support more economic development, that’s gonna make good business for them over time.

But World Bank critic Mark Weisbrot, at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, doesn’t like the idea:

Mark Weisbrot: It’s likely to increase the influence of special interests based in the rich countries. Just like in the United States, where corporate campaign contributors generally get something for their money when they donate.

Zoellick is also looking for contributions from rapidly developing countries, such as Korea, Turkey and China.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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