WASHINGTON (AP) – The International Monetary Fund said on Monday that its board had been briefed by lawyers for the law firm whose investigation found that current IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and other officials had pressured World Bank employees to change data affecting the ranking of Chinese companies. and other nations.
The IMF said the lending agency’s board of 190 countries met with representatives from law firm WilmerHale as part of an ongoing review of issues raised by the firm’s investigation into the report. World Bank Doing Business 2018.
The Doing Business report assessed a country’s tax burdens, bureaucratic hurdles, regulatory system, and other business conditions, and its ranking has been used by some governments in an attempt to attract investment.
The IMF said in a statement that the board would meet with Georgieva soon as part of its review of the matter. The statement said the IMF’s executive board “remains committed to a thorough, objective and timely review” of the issues raised by the report.
The survey prompted the World Bank to end Doing Business annual reports. The report found that Georgieva, then Managing Director of the World Bank, and other senior World Bank executives had pressured the bank’s economists to improve China’s ranking in 2018 at a time when she and other officials were trying to persuade China to support a boost in World Bank financing resources.
The incident led to calls for Georgieva to step down from the top IMF post. It also served to highlight complaints that China has too much influence over global financial institutions.
Georgieva has denied any wrongdoing. “Let me be clear. The conclusions are wrong. I have not pressured anyone to change the reports,” she said in a statement issued after the report was released last month.
Georgieva said she was eager to meet with the IMF’s board to brief them on her actions.
The controversy comes ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, which will take place next week in Washington.
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