World Bank’s Kim pays tribute to his homeland

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World Bank’s Kim pays tribute to his homeland

WASHINGTON - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said yesterday that his motherland Korea is an example of a development success story.

“When I was born, Korea was still a developing country and people had a very negative sense of the prospects of economic growth,” he said in a news release.

“Look at the country now. It’s gone from being recipient of aid to a generous donor country. I think it’s a wonderful development and Korea can play a tremendously positive role throughout the world.”

Kim’s comments came ahead of his three-day trip to Korea from Oct. 14, the first since becoming the leader of the 187-nation institution tasked with fighting poverty around the world and promoting development of poor countries. He took office in July for a five-year term.

Born in Seoul in 1959, Kim moved to the U.S. with his family when he was 5 years old.

Kim, a renowned health expert, has served as the president of Dartmouth College since 2009.

During his official visit to Seoul, he is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech Oct. 15 at the International Development Forum.

He will also attend a private sector seminar and meet with Korea’s Minister of Strategy and Finance Bahk Jae-wan and other senior government officials during his three-day stay.

“I look forward to meeting with representatives from government, the private sector and young people to learn more about how we can work together to create opportunities and bring prosperity for all,” Kim said.

The World Bank also noted Korea is playing an increasingly important role as a provider of investment and development assistance, with growing demand for its development knowledge.

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