World Bank urged to reform and attract private capital for development

The World Bank is urged to undergo significant reforms, including restructuring and expansion, to meet evolving global development needs. N K Singh emphasized the importance of attracting private capital alongside shareholder investment.

The World Bank has been urged to undergo a comprehensive overhaul in order to emerge as a more potent force in global development financing. N K Singh, Co-Convenor of the Expert Group on MDB Reforms, stressed the necessity for the institution to embark on a journey of reinvention, restructuring, and expansion to meet the evolving needs of the world. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2024, Singh underscored the importance of multilateral cooperation while advocating for a ‘better, bolder, and bigger’ World Bank.

Under the leadership of N K Singh and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a high-level expert group was established by the G20 during India’s presidency. This group formulated a comprehensive 30-point roadmap aimed at reforming Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and substantially increasing their lending by 2030. Key recommendations included strategies to attract private investors and introduce pooled portfolio guarantees.


The World Bank, along with other Bretton Woods institutions, was originally established to facilitate post-World War II. However, in today’s rapidly changing global landscape, there is a pressing need for these institutions to adapt and innovate in order to effectively address contemporary development challenges.

The expert group highlighted the staggering funding requirements of MDBs, estimating a need for USD 3 trillion annually until 2030. While domestic resource mobilisation can cover a significant portion of this amount, attracting private sector investment is crucial to bridge the remaining gap. Singh emphasized the importance of shareholders and the private sector in contributing to the World Bank’s capital base.

Despite the imperative for private capital mobilisation, the World Bank’s track record in this regard has been less than satisfactory, according to Singh. He called for a dual approach, with shareholders injecting additional capital while the institution enhances its capacity to attract private investment.

In conclusion, the call for the reinvention and expansion of the World Bank comes at a critical juncture in global development finance. As the world grapples with complex challenges such as climate change, poverty, and inequality, the role of multilateral institutions like the World Bank becomes increasingly vital. By embracing bold reforms and harnessing the power of private capital, the World Bank can position itself as a more effective and responsive agent of global development.