7 May 2014

World Bank ratings system criticised

1:52 pm on 7 May 2014

The Pacific Network on Globalisation says the World Bank is encouraging Pacific governments to legalise land grabs under the pretext of making customary land more productive.

The group says it is joining hundreds of organisations around the world in calling for the Bank to abolish its Doing Business ranking system.

no caption

Photo: RNZ

The Bank ranks developing countries on the so-called ease of doing business, with a high score indicating a country's regulatory environment is conducive to business.

But the group's coordinator, Maureen Penjueli, says the Bank is encouraging governments to put the interests of foreign investors ahead of local landowners.

"Right across the Pacific, customary land is still a key part of our land tenure system and so the World Bank's Doing Business rankings is a key means to our governments' formal policies of freeing up land and so what we are seeing now is that it is opened up for resource grab."

The Pacific Network on Globalisation co-ordinator, Maureen Penjueli.