Arab Ministers bid Zoellick farewell as World Bank head

April 24, 2012

Led by Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf, several Arab Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors held a farewell meeting with outgoing World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, it was reported in Riyadh yesterday. Al-Assaf thanked Zoellick, whose term of office ends in June 2012, for his efforts in enhancing the role of the World Bank in the Arab region through the launching of the Arab World Initiative. This program, he noted, brought about improvements in the education, commerce and transport sectors of many Arab countries.

During Zoellick’s tenure, the World Bank also managed to collect nearly $750 million from investment funds specializing in supporting solar energy projects in the region. Furthermore, in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank established facilities for investment in the infrastructure sector of Arab countries aiming to achieve collective economic growth. In cooperation with the African Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank committed to supporting small and medium institutions. Finally, Al-Assaf lauded the World Bank for launching the Arab Food Security Initiative, encouraging the Arab private sector, and increasing job opportunities for Arabs to join its staff.

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