P. S. Suryanarayana

SINGAPORE: The World Bank will be expanding its lending to India considerably during the period of global economic crisis.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has said the formation of a new China-Japan-South Korea partnership is “not … a negative for India or other countries.” Asked whether this trilateral partnership would be prelude to a reordering of the global economic system and whether India was again missing the bus in such diplomacy, Mr. Zoellick said: “I wouldn’t see these steps [by China, Japan, and South Korea] as zero-sum or competitive. I would see them as deepening their network of ties, and we at the World Bank are also part of that effort.”

India, he said, “has itself been very active in deepening its ties throughout the Southeast Asian region.” “India has [also] come a long way in the past 17 or 18 years in terms of growth. But, it also has challenges that we at the Bank are trying to help address.” The World Bank’s lending to India would cover its “most vulnerable” sections and the “effort to build infrastructure.”

Mr. Zoellick was speaking on Thursday after signing a memorandum of understanding with Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo. The MoU will enable the Bank to draw upon the city-state’s urban management experiences to help developing countries in this domain.