Chinese economist named to top World Bank post

Business Materials 5 February 2008 06:08 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - A Chinese anti-poverty expert was appointed Monday as the World Bank's next chief economist, the first person from a developing country to be named to the post.

Justin Lin is the founding director of an economic research centre at Beijing University and holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago. He was chosen after a global talent search, the bank said.

Lin will help the agency's efforts to promote growth and investment in Africa, spread expertise between developing nations and support countries hit by high energy and farm prices, World Bank head Robert Zoellick said.

"As our first chief economist from a developing country, and an expert on economic development and particularly agriculture, Justin Lin brings a unique set of skills and experience to the World Bank Group," Zoellick said in a statement.

Lin's posts in China include vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. A professor at Beijing University since 1933, he is known for work on economic and agricultural reforms as well as rural modernization, the World Bank said.

He has taught in Hong Kong, the United States and Australia.

Lin is due to take up his post on May 31. He will replace former chief economist Francois Bourgignon of France, who retired last year.