#2022WCA: The World Bank's David Malpass on the Urgency of Regional Recovery

The Bank's president spoke on the urgency of Latin America's regional recovery from Covid-19, inflation, and more.

“At the World Bank, we forecast that Latin America and the Caribbean will grow by only 2.3 percent in 2022. That’s not enough to make progress on poverty reduction or social discontent," said David Malpass, president of the World Bank, at the 52nd Annual Washington Conference on the Americas.

Malpass spoke about the effects of global deceleration and the spike in commodity prices. “Many countries in the region are net oil importers. One key unfolding crisis is the rise of inflation in advanced economies. Many Latin and Caribbean countries are facing pressure on their currencies and a surge on imported inflation that is forcing interest rate hikes.”

Looking beyond this year’s crisis, Latin America and the Caribbean have many paths available for achieving faster growth," Malpass said. "Spending restraint by governments and state owned enterprises, along with proactive debt management, should be high priorities to build confidence and help attract new investment and jobs."  

"One of those paths could be through nearshoring," he said, explaining how the Coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical tensions "have created a demand for nearshoring, and Latin America and the Caribbean is well positioned to embrace this opportunity.” Another opportunity could be technology development. “The region is home to one of the most vibrant tech scenes in the developing world. The accelerated adoption of digital solutions, triggered by the Covid-19 crisis, could rapidly expand access to finance,” he said.