The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), commonly referred to as the World Bank, is an international financial institution whose purposes include assisting the development of its member nation’s territories, promoting and supplementing private foreign investment and promoting long-range balance growth in international trade.
The World Bank was established in December 1945 at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. It opened for business in June 1946 and helped in the reconstruction of nations devastated by World War II. Since 1960s the World Bank has shifted its focus from the advanced industrialized nations to developing third-world countries.
Organization and Structure:
The organization of the bank consists of the Board of Governors, the Board of Executive Directors and the Advisory Committee, the Loan Committee and the president and other staff members. All the powers of the bank are vested in the Board of Governors which is the supreme policy making body of the bank.
Capital Resources of World Bank:
The initial authorized capital of the World Bank was $ 10,000 million, which was divided in 1 lakh shares of $ 1 lakh each. The authorized capital of the Bank has been increased from time to time with the approval of member countries.Member countries repay the share amount to the World Bank in the following ways:
- 2% of allotted share are repaid in gold, US dollar or Special Drawing Rights (SDR).
- Every member country is free to repay 18% of its capital share in its own currency.
- The remaining 80% share deposited by the member country only on demand by the World Bank.
The following objectives are assigned by the World Bank:
- To provide long-run capital to member countries for economic reconstruction and development.
- To induce long-run capital investment for assuring Balance of Payments (BoP) equilibrium and balanced development of international trade.
- To provide guarantee for loans granted to small and large units and other projects of member countries.
- To ensure the implementation of development projects so as to bring about a smooth transference from a war-time to peace economy.
- To promote capital investment in member countries by the following ways;
(a) To provide guarantee on private loans or capital investment.
(b) If private capital is not available even after providing guarantee, then IBRD provides loans for productive activities on considerate conditions.
World Bank is playing main role of providing loans for development works to member countries, especially to underdeveloped countries. The World Bank provides long-term loans for various development projects of 5 to 20 years duration.
The main functions can be explained with the help of the following points:
- World Bank provides various technical services to the member countries. For this purpose, the Bank has established “The Economic Development Institute” and a Staff College in Washington.
- Bank can grant loans to a member country up to 20% of its share in the paid-up capital.
- The quantities of loans, interest rate and terms and conditions are determined by the Bank itself.
- Generally, Bank grants loans for a particular project duly submitted to the Bank by the member country.
- The debtor nation has to repay either in reserve currencies or in the currency in which the loan was sanctioned.
- Bank also provides loan to private investors belonging to member countries on its own guarantee, but for this loan private investors have to seek prior permission from those counties where this amount will be collected.
- To promote international monetary cooperation through a permanent institution which provides the machinery for consultation and collaboration on international monetary problems.
- To facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to contribute thereby to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income and to the development of the productive resources of all members as primary objectives of economic policy.
- To promote exchange stability, to maintain orderly exchange arrangements among members, and to avoid competitive exchange depreciation.
- To assist in the establishment of a multilateral system of payments in respect of current transactions between members and in the elimination of foreign exchange restrictions which hamper the growth of world trade.
- To give confidence to members by making the general resources of the Fund temporarily available to them under adequate safeguards, thus providing them with opportunity to correct maladjustments in their balance of payments without resorting to measures destructive of national or international prosperity.
- In accordance with the above, to shorten the duration and lessen the degree of disequilibrium in the international balances of payments of members.“Articles of Agreement: Article I—Purposes,” International Monetary Fund
The important objectives of WTO are:
1. To improve the standard of living of people in the member countries.
2. To ensure full employment and broad increase in effective demand.
3. To enlarge production and trade of goods.
4. To increase the trade of services.
5. To ensure optimum utilization of world resources.
6. To protect the environment.
7. To accept the concept of sustainable development.
The main functions of WTO are discussed below:
1. To implement rules and provisions related to trade policy review mechanism.
2. To provide a platform to member countries to decide future strategies related to trade and tariff.
3. To provide facilities for implementation, administration and operation of multilateral and bilateral agreements of the world trade.
4. To administer the rules and processes related to dispute settlement.
5. To ensure the optimum use of world resources.
6. To assist international organizations such as, IMF and IBRD for establishing coherence in Universal Economic Policy determination.
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