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Statement January 18, 2018

Statement Regarding World Bank Doing Business Staff

WASHINGTON, January 18, 2018—The World Bank today issued the following statement in response to media reports concerning a staff member:

“Recent media reports suggesting political bias in the Doing Business reports mentioned one of our staff members, Augusto Lopez-Claros.  The origin of the reporting was a January 12, 2018 article in the Wall Street Journal based on a conversation with World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer. However, in a blog post of January 16, Mr. Romer clarified his comments:  “In a conversation with a reporter, I made comments about the Doing Business report that gave the impression that I suspected political manipulation or bias. This was not what I meant to say or thought I said. I have not seen any sign of manipulation of the numbers published in Doing Business report or in any other Bank report.”

Mr. Augusto Lopez-Claros is a well-respected economist and a valued member of our staff.  We regret that news reports have cast doubt on Mr. Lopez-Claros’ professionalism, and we hope that an upcoming independent review of the Chile indicators of Doing Business will establish the facts.”