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U.S. to put forward candidate for World Bank President

(Xinhua)

09:32, February 16, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday praised the leadership of outgoing World Bank chief Robert Zoellick, and said the Treasury was slated to announce a candidate to serve at the helm of the agency.

Zoellick has been a "remarkably effective leader" of the World Bank at a critically important time in the world economy, Geithner said in a statement, adding that under Zoellick's leadership, the Bank has made vital contributions to the global response to the financial crisis and improving food security.

The Washington-based World Bank announced on Wednesday that its President Zoellick would step down when his five-year term ends on June 30.

The United States remains deeply committed to the World Bank and its affiliated institutions, as evidenced by its successful effort late last year to secure a landmark funding agreement from Congress. With the agreement, the United States continues its leadership role in the World Bank, as its largest shareholder and the largest donor to IDA, the World Bank's facility for the poorest countries, added Geithner.

"It is very important that we continue to have strong, effective leadership of this important institution, and in the coming weeks, we plan to put forward a candidate with the experience and requisite qualities to take this institution forward," said the Treasury statement.

Traditionally, the World Bank's President is an American and the chief of its sister agency, the International Monetary Fund ( IMF), is a European.

Zoellick will be leaving the World Bank "with a record of achievement of which he can be very proud", said Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, on Wednesday in a statement.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday declined to comment on potential successors from the United States.

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