Developing countries should take steps now to prepare in the event of global economic turbulence, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in a press conference on the eve of the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings.
While Zoellick said he believes a double-dip recession remains unlikely, he said recent economic indicators are eroding his confidence.
He added the world is entering a “danger zone” where the outlook is “darkening” for the Bank’s clients – developing countries – which have been the bright spot in the world economy, contributing half of annual global growth in recent years.
Zoellick called on the European Union, United States, and Japan to address domestic economic problems. “We all have a stake in how they handle it,” he said.
The major themes of the meetings are gender and jobs, Zoellick said. The Bank’s just-released World Development Report 2012 on Gender indicates that tapping the full potential of half the world’s population – women and girls-- is “smart economics,” said Zoellick. “Women are the next big emerging market,” he said. The next World Development Report, due in 2012, will focus on jobs.
Questions for Zoellick addressed the vulnerability of the poorest countries and fragile states, and the outlook for China, India, Brazil, Russia and other major emerging economies.
Read Zoellick’s opening remarks.