Guest of honor and speaker at Rotary lunch: WB head in China

On Tuesday 10 March the Rotary Club of Beijing had the privilege to welcome Bert Hofman. Bert, a Dutch National, is the World Bank’s Country Director for China, Mongolia and Korea in the East Asia and Pacific Region, based in Beijing.
Prior to his present assignment, he was the World Bank’s Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific Region and Director, Singapore Office. As regional chief economist he led a team to analyze key trends and policy issues across East Asia and the Pacific and as Director Singapore he helped build a partnership that focuses on expanding investment in infrastructure in emerging economies.
Before moving to Singapore in 2011, he was the Country Director for the Philippines, responsible for a growing portfolio of projects and advisory services to the Philippines government.
He has accumulated more than 22 years of experience in the World Bank, 16 of which in the East Asia region. Among others, Mr. Hofman was Lead Economist for China and for Indonesia and country economist for Mongolia and Namibia. He had also worked on Brazil, South Africa, Mongolia, Zambia, and Namibia in his earlier years with the Bank.
Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Hofman worked at the Kiel Institute of World Economics in Germany, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, and NMB Bank in the Netherlands (now ING). He holds a degree in economics of Erasmus University Rotterdam and studied at the Christian Albrechts University, Kiel.

We had a pretty good turnout, supervised by our Sergeant-at-Arms Rtn. Didier on behalf of President Piper.
Bert was introduced by Rtn. Joerg and thanked by Rtn. Alan.
Banners were exchanged with Rtn. David, our former member and President who now moved to Hong Kong. I gave the banners I received from my Rtn. friend Geoffrey who flew from Sydney to Melbourne to stay with me for the day.
The speech by Bert was of course the event of the day and we were fortunate to receive a sharp analysis of the complex situation China is currently facing.
I gave Bert a copy of my book Toxic Capitalism as a token of appreciation for all the data I used from the World Bank – quoted many times.

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