Colombia’s former finance minister and candidate for the World Bank presidency said he has a “real chance” of being elected.
In an interview with CNN Global Exchange, Jose Antonio Ocampo — one of two candidates from developing countries — said “developing countries have made such a forceful entry into this [presidential] race” because they have direct experience of development.
“We know what development is in terms of economic, social, environmental issues … better than the developed countries,” said the economist with a PhD from Yale University.
Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is also in the race with Ocampo, who served as Colombia’s Finance Minister from 1996-1997.
Ocampo said of his counterpart “there is no doubt that the minister of finance of Nigeria and myself have a broader perspective on […] development issues.”
“I’m here for the developing world. And the emerging markets and developing countries,” said Ocampo underlining his stance that he is not just representing Colombia.
The former minister does not have the support of his country. The current Finance Minister, Juan Carlos Echeverry, said Ocampo stood little chance of winning because a Colombian — Luis Alberto Moreno — already holds the top position at the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank.
Since its inception in 1944 the World Bank presidency has been exclusively held by U.S. citizens.
The new president is to be decided by the World Bank’s 25-member board next month.