Saturday, February 05, 2005

World Bank Conference in San Salvador

The World Bank held a conference this week in San Salvador to discuss the issues facing Central America. The US State Departments has a summary of the World Bank views. It is fairly summarized as Central America needs to do more to make it easier for corporations to do business in the region, and attracting foreign investment is the way to alleviate poverty. There was no mention of improving education, healthcare, workers' rights, or addressing the increasing inequality in the distribution of wealth in the region. But that's probably not surprising in a State Department summary of a World Bank conference.

There was an interesting snippet about corruption:

The bank said that even though Central American countries struggle with the problems of corruption that affect many developing countries, the region compares well with other developing areas of the world regarding the costs associated with corruption. Private firms in Central America spend an average of 2.1 percent of their sales to bribe public officials to "get things done," which is less than in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia and South America, but comparable to rates paid in Bangladesh and Pakistan, according to the World Bank.

How do they develop that statistic?

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