New Delhi, March 8, 2013—World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will visit India on March 11-13 to see firsthand some of the development challenges India faces, as well as the opportunities it could exploit to achieve faster economic growth and a quicker reduction in poverty. This will be Kim’s first visit to India after taking over as President of the World Bank Group last July.
While in India, Kim will discuss India’s major initiatives to foster equitable growth at his meetings with leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society. He will meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi, and will also visit Lucknow and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh to meet Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and see development challenges in the state, which is home to the largest number of India’s poor.
“India has vast and valuable development experience, and I am eager to learn about its success stories to see how they could provide lessons for other countries,” said Kim. “I also look forward to the opportunity to find out what the World Bank Group can do to work with India in ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity throughout the country.”
The World Bank Group President visits India at a time when it is rapidly urbanizing, with 10 million Indians moving every year into towns and cities from the rural hinterland. Kim will visit a village in Uttar Pradesh to gain insights into the realities of rural life that might compel migration to towns and cities. He will then visit Kanpur, one of Uttar Pradesh’s largest cities, to experience firsthand the challenges in managing increasing urbanization.
“India’s historic transformation provides a great opportunity to lift millions out of poverty, but it also poses enormous challenges in providing jobs, housing and basic services to people,” Kim said. “A quarter of urban India already lives in slums, with limited access to clean drinking water, proper sanitation, electricity or public transportation. I am here to see how the World Bank Group can support India as it strives to turn its urban centers into clean, livable cities for its people.”
India is the largest client of the World Bank Group. Between 2009 and 2013, the Group lent around $ 25.5 billion to India. This includes $ 12 billion from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), $ 8.3 billion from the International Development Association (IDA) and a further $ 5.2 billion in investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). As of January 2013, total IBRD and IDA net commitments stood at $23.1 billion (IBRD $13.2 billion, IDA $9.9 billion) across 77 projects. At the end of January 2013, IFC’s portfolio contained 219 projects, amounting to committed and disbursed exposure of $4.1 billion.