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World Bank to give greater say to developing countries
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World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Saturday that the institution is looking to increase the voice of developing countries in its decision-making process.

Speaking on the sidelines of a G-20 ministerial level gathering in Sao Paulo, Zoellick said that the World Bank is currently seeking to increase the representation of developing countries to 44 percent and enhance developing countries' participation in decision making process.

Finance ministers and heads of central banks of the G-20, the 20 largest economies in the world, are meeting over the weekend in Sao Paulo to discuss ways of dismantling the current global financial crisis.

The World Bank believes that to better represent the reality of the international economy in the 21st century, it needs to recognize the role and responsibility of the main actors in emerging markets and give a proportionate voice to Africa, Zoellick said.

Many developing countries have had prudent fiscal policies over the last few years, enabling them to fend off the impacts of the crisis so far, but many of them are still facing greater difficulties because exports, industries and credit system have been seriously affected.

No country can escape from the consequences of the global financial crisis, Zoellick said.

"We need to focus on the modernization of global financial institutions and establish flexible networks that will better represent developing countries," he said.

"I believe that within the next two years we will experience big changes in the world system," he said.

"In particular, the point I want to emphasize is that we need to be sure that the financial crisis will not evolve into a humanitarian

crisis," he said.

The World Bank is planning to create an additional seat on its Board of Directors, reserved especially for Sub-Saharan Africa, Zoellick said.

Besides increasing the representation of developing countries, the selection process of the president will become "more transparent, open and based on merit," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2008)

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