US nominee for WB chief post meets Pranab

New Delhi: US nominee for World Bank President`s post Jim Yong Kim today met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and is believed to have sought India`s support for his candidature.

Jim, Dartmouth College President and global health expert, was picked up by US President Barack Obama to contest for the World Bank presidentship. He is also schedule to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the evening.

Current President Robert Zoellick, who took office in July 2007, is schedule to retire in June. Jim – Korea-born American citizen – has spent more than two decades working towards improving conditions in the developing countries.

Besides Jim, the other two candidates in the fray for the presidentship are Jose Antonio Ocampo, a Colombian national and Professor at Columbia University in New York and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian Finance Minister.

BRICS, a grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has been insisting that the selection of the World Bank President should be transparent, based on merit and not on the basis on nationality.

Since its inception in 1944, the World Bank has always been headed by an American national. The new President of the multilateral lending body is expected to be elected during the Spring Meetings of the IMF-World Bank to be held in Washington from April 20. Expectations are that the President would be selected by consensus during the Spring Meetings, which will be attended by Mukherjee.