KUALA LUMPUR, 30 January 2020 – A mutual agreement to extend the work of the World Bank Group’s Global Hub in Kuala Lumpur for an additional five-year period from 2021 to 2025 has been reached with the Malaysian Government.
As part of the extension agreement, the World Bank Group’s office will be renamed the “Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Finance Hub” in July 2020 as it moves into this second five-year phase. The World Bank Group’s work in the country will continue to focus on supporting Malaysia’s inclusive growth ambitions towards greater levels of shared prosperity and high-income nation status. Another focus area will be the promotion of Malaysia’s global leadership role in sustainable finance.
Malaysia and the World Bank first signed agreements to establish a knowledge and research hub in Kuala Lumpur on January 27, 2015. The office, named the World Bank Group Global Knowledge and Research Hub, opened on March 28, 2016. In its first few years of operation, the World Bank Group’s Hub helped spur policy dialogue, innovations and research in many development areas including the digital economy, sustainable finance, cost of living, long-term growth, public service reform and economic productivity. In 2017, the Hub collaborated with the Securities Commission and Bank Negara Malaysia to launch the world’s first-ever green Islamic bond creating a new instrument for global investors seeking to support sustainable development.
“We value our long-standing relations with the World Bank Group and look forward to expand links with its Hub in Kuala Lumpur during the next phase of its operation,” stated Malaysian Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng. “The Hub is supporting us in our pursuit of achieving shared prosperity and being an economically developed nation through partnerships between the public and the private sectors”, he added.
“The World Bank’s deepening partnership with Malaysia continues to create innovative knowledge and development solutions for the benefit of Malaysia, the wider region, and countries across the world,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific. “We look forward to sustaining this impactful collaboration through the work of our Hub over the next five years,” she stated.
The work of the World Bank Group in Malaysia will focus on economic, financial and governance-related issues as well as human capital, particularly in the social protection, jobs and education sectors. There will also be an emphasis on maintaining a balance between sharing Malaysia’s experience and policy innovations with other countries and harnessing global expertise to support Malaysia’s internal reform priorities and development ambitions.
The World Bank Group Office in Malaysia is housed in Sasana Kijang, a Bank Negara Malaysia facility providing office space for multiple international organizations and dedicated to educational learning and collaboration. Malaysia became a member of the World Bank in 1958.
During her two-day visit, Vice President Kwakwa will meet Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Finance Minister YB Lim Guan Eng and Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus. She will be joined by Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific and Firas Raad, World Bank Country Manager for Malaysia.