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12 Oct, 2021 10:25

IMF board backs its managing director despite claims of bias in favor of China

IMF board backs its managing director despite claims of bias in favor of China

The International Monetary Fund decided to keep Kristalina Georgieva as its managing director, expressing full confidence in her leadership, despite accusations she'd altered data to favor China during her time at the World Bank.

Georgieva had been serving as the Chief Executive of the World Bank Group for two years before she was appointed to head the IMF in October 2019. The Bulgarian economist is the first person from a developing country to lead the institution.

On Monday, the Fund’s 24-member board that represent the 190 member states held a meeting to review the allegations that Georgieva had pressured World Bank staff to influence a report in favor of China.

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“Having looked at all the evidence presented, the Executive Board reaffirms its full confidence in the Managing Director’s leadership and ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties,” the IMF said in a statement following the review of the investigation conducted by law firm WilmerHale.

Georgieva was investigated over accusations of direct involvement in efforts to improve China’s ranking in the Doing Business Report, a flagship offering of the World Bank’s annual research assessing how friendly a nation is for business activity. Georgieva had denied the claims.

The economist welcomed the board’s endorsement in a separate statement of her own, stressing that the episode with the allegations was difficult for her personally.

“I want to express my unyielding support for the independence and integrity of institutions such as the World Bank and IMF; and my respect for all those committed to protecting the values on which these organizations are founded,” Georgieva said.

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