‘World Bank goal to erad­i­cate ex­treme poverty by 2030 can be achieved’

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank’s goal of end­ing ex­treme poverty glob­ally by 2030 is doable, based on Malaysia’s suc­cess in low­er­ing ex­treme poverty to less than one per cent.

World Bank chief econ­o­mist Paul Romer said elim­i­nat­ing poverty was im­por­tant and a key con­cern of the World Bank, but to pol­i­cy­mak­ers, it might not seem as ur­gent as sharp mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions or the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

“If we are not care­ful and if we are al­ways pay­ing at­ten­tion to ur­gent prob­lems, then we don’t ad­dress the im­por­tant ones,” he said in an in­ter­view with NST Busi­ness re­cently.

Romer cited a quote by for­mer United States pres­i­dent Dwight D. Eisen­hower, who said “ur­gent prob­lems are not im­por­tant and im­por­tant prob­lems are not ur­gent”.

Romer, a pro­fes­sor at New York Uni­ver­sity and founder of ed­u­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy com­pany called Aplia, be­lieves ur­ban­i­sa­tion was an an­other im­por­tant is­sue as it pro­vided peo­ple with op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn.

He said ur­ban­i­sa­tion was a key driver of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“I think we have seen real progress. China has changed ev­ery­body’s sense of what is pos­si­ble. Malaysia has been suc­cess­ful for oth­ers to study, and Viet­nam is fol­low­ing this part,” he added. Rupa Damodaran

World Bank chief econ­o­mist Paul Romer

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