Thursday, April 14

Kim: World Bank will help recover Panama funds

Kim: World Bank will help recover Panama funds

Jim Yong Kim

Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, says the global financial institution would help developing countries recover stolen funds hidden in tax havens.

Speaking at a Press conference in Washington, Kim said the World Bank knew about the Panama papers before it became global knowledge.

“On the Panama papers, we are extremely concerned about the fact that it’s been revealed once again. It was no mystery, we knew these things were happening,” he said.

“I want to stress that when taxes are evaded, when state assets are taken and put into these havens, all of these things can have a tremendous negative effect on our mission to end poverty and improve shared prosperity.

“We are very actively involved. We have a programme called the Star programme, the stolen assets recovery programme. We have had some success, but this is a great great concern.”

Kim added that the bank was also working with leaders of developing countries to see to ending poverty and improving shared prosperity.

“For us, it’s a fundamental issue of trust. If you’re trying to end extreme poverty, avoiding taxes, avoiding payment, taking state assets out of a country, these are all very very damaging.

“Leaders in developing countries are telling us that they want to work with us to track down these illicit financial flows.

“We will ensure that much of these assets that are taken out of the hands of the government can be then utilised to tackle poverty and inequality.”

He said the entire taxing systems has to revamped, saying some countries only tax those who are too weak to evade tax, while the rich end up not being taxed.

He reiterated the stance of the bank to end extreme poverty by 2030, despite weak global economic indices, which forced the bank to review its growth outlook for 2016 to 2.5 percent.

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