Washington, Oct 12 (PTI) After years of disappointing growth, the global economy has begun to accelerate, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said today, cautioning that a rise in protectionism and policy uncertainty could derail this fragile recovery.

Addressing a press conference at the start of Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank here, Kim said that though trade is picking up, investment remains weak.

“Overall, we are seeing growth rise in most developing and advanced economies which is why countries need to make critical investments now. This is the time to implement the reforms that are going to insulate against potential downturns in the future,” the World Bank chief told reporters.

He expressed concern that risks such as rise in protectionism, policy uncertainty or possible financial market turbulence could derail this fragile recovery.

He said countries need to build resilience against the overlapping challenges the world faces today, including the effects of climate change, natural disasters, conflict, forced displacement, famine and disease.

“To help countries address these challenges, we are working to maximise finance for development. We are pursuing private sector solutions whenever they can help achieve development goals and reserving scarce public finance for where it is most needed particularly investments in human capital, he said.

“These discussions will help countries chart the path forward for how to improve the lives of their people and in doing so, they should help set the agenda for the world s economy in the coming year, Kim said.

Finance ministers and central bankers from 189 members countries have gathered in Washington this week to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the global community during the annual World Bank Group-IMF Annual Meetings.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrived in Washington this morning to participate in the annual meetings of IMF and World Bank.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.