World Bank Annual Summit, Festive Mood and Red Tape

| by Swadesh Roy reporting from Tokyo 

( November 16, 2012, Tokyo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Japan has shown that an economical event could be a festival. This year World Bank annual summit was held in Japan. It is for the second time, Japan is the host of the World Bank annual summit. Nearly after half century, it was held in Japan. Some co-incident can be found in the annual summit of World Bank in Japan. Nearly half century ago when it was held in Japan, then Japan was in very much economical transformation. Then there were many spot of the Second World War in the body of Japan. This year is also remarkable that, Japan has just recovered from the Tsunami and a heavy earthquake ruin.  Japan has already renovated 90 percent of the Tokyo tower, it proves that they have recovered more than 90 percent; but they never shown that, they have some bleeding of the tsunami or earthquake. Besides that, Tokyo city was totally in festive mood. At the planning stage Japan think that, more over five thousand people will join the World Bank summit in Tokyo but before two days most of the newspaper says that, ten thousand people will join the annual summit of the World Bank but at last it cross all the speculation. Twenty thousand people joined in that annual summit. Who are they to join the annual summit? Besides all the country delegation a huge number of people were from the different part of the world. A large number of people were the representatives of the civil societies of different part of the world and the people of the non government development organizations. Besides that a huge number of students of the different universities of world and the young social worker joined the summit. All were not inside the Tokyo International Forum Hall. Huge crowds were outside of the hall and basically they were the life of the summit. Not only that, all roads and the rail station also express that, Tokyo is now in festive mood for the World Bank annual summit. We have seen the annual summit of the World Bank in Washington DC but it was in fact an economical program there were no festive mood in it rather it was a serious program. But Japan proved that, economy is not only a stern matter but also it is part of joy in our life. A large number of university student and the non government worker joined in the summit with a slogan that they want to eliminate poverty. In the plenary address World Bank president also said that, “ .. it is the time to move from dreaming of a world free of poverty to achieving it” .

Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank is a Japanese speaking Korean who migrated in his boyhood to United State of America. He is an anthropologist and a social worker. Some co-incident also happened here. He is the first Asian who succeeds the post of the president of the World Bank; it is also a similarity with the president of USA Mr. Obama. He is the first American president who is an African American; Kim is the first World Bank president who is the first Asian American and another co incident is that he is the first Asian president of the World Bank to give the annual meetings plenary address in Asia. The previous day of the annual meeting president Kim gave an interview with an Australian news media; Kim vows to cut the World Bank’s red tapes. Institutional Investor magazine write that, ` To the end Kim vowed get the bank emphasize results instead of processes, as it is widely criticized for doing at present-“ The bureaucracy, we are going to eliminate it”.

First Asian president of the World Bank is not a traditional Banker or a business executive; he is a physician. As a physician he is going to give more life to the World Bank because if any office or institution falls in a red tape culture it loses its life and it gradually goes to a drought affected life. Kim has understood that, and he has taken the measure as a physician that, what treatment it should be given first. Kim told it two days prior to the annual summit of World Bank. But in the plenary address he said that “At the World Bank Group we’re taking this lesson on heart, and one of my priorities is to enhance our engagement with the region and rethink our approaches where necessary.” It also supports his previous day’s determination that, World Bank will not do anything in a traditional way or through the red tape culture; he wants to do that according to necessary.

So this World Bank annual summit in Japan is remarkable in many ways, the host Asian country Japan transformed it from an economical events to a people festive events. They proved that, economy is not a dry thing it is also a joy in our life and it is fact that, basically economy can give an actual joy for the humankinds. On the other hand the first Asian president has taken the step that World Bank will be a live organization or a partner of the people who wants and who needs change of his life.   

Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor, The Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh, he can be reached at       
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