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The IMF's chief denies tampering with World Bank data in order to appease China.

The IMF's chief denies tampering with World Bank data in order to appease China. Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF's president, challenged an independent review
The IMF’s chief denies tampering with World Bank data in order to appease China.

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s president, challenged an independent review that showed she urged staff at the World Bank to change a report to avoid angering China in her former role.

Following an inquiry into the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Doing Business report, the World Bank stated on Thursday that it would be terminating it immediately.

The survey assesses countries based on their business regulations and economic reforms, and Beijing reportedly complained about its 78th place ranking on the list in 2017.

Beijing’s rating in the ease of doing business would have dropped even more in the 2018 report.

The staff of the Washington-based development lender was developing it while the organization’s leadership was involved in sensitive negotiations to boost its lending capacity, which necessitated a deal with senior members, including China.

According to the investigation by law firm WilmerHale, the World Bank’s then-president Jim Kim and Georgieva, the bank’s CEO at the time, met with their staff in the final weeks before the report’s release at the end of October 2017 and asked them to look into updating the methodology in regard to China.

According to the World Bank’s report of the investigation, Kim reviewed the rankings with senior Chinese officials who were dismayed by the country’s standing, and Kim’s aides broached the issue of how to improve it.

According to the report, which analyzed 80,000 documents and interviewed more than three dozen current and former World Bank employees, Georgieva chastised a senior official for “mishandling the Bank’s relationship with China and failing to appreciate the importance of the Doing Business report to the country.”

Under pressure from top management, workers modified some of the input data, boosting China’s score from 78 to 78 in 2018, the same as the year before.

According to the probe, Georgieva congratulated the senior World Bank official for “doing his part for multilateralism.” Georgieva later went to the manager in charge of the report’s house to get a copy and praise them for their assistance in “resolving the problem.”

Georgieva, a Bulgarian national who became the IMF’s managing director in October 2019, refuted the inquiry.

In a statement, she said, “I completely disagree with the conclusions and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities as they pertain to my position in the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2018.”

“I have already received a preliminary briefing from the IMF. Brief News from Washington Newsday.

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