World Bank president Robert S. McNamara yesterday called on the rich industrial nations to accept a $60 billion increase annually in the level of manufactured goods they import from poor nations by 1985.
Although sources said that this influx would "displace" about 3 million jobs in the major countries in that period, McNamara said that the industrial world could tolerate such a burden with the use of "adjustment assistance" measures.
In his annual address to the joint annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. McNamara said that such an expansion of the poor nation's export potential is necessary to assure a percapita growth rate of 2 per cent in the poorest nations and 4 per cent in the middle-income families.
Called for added efforts to relieve poverty and end stagnation in the poorest countries, with an aggregate population of 1 billion.
Said that "uncertainties over the World Bank's future financial operations are now largely resolved" because there is a broad consensus that a substantial general capital increase is needed. He predicted that, over the next five years, the bank would provide $30 to 35 billion in new financing.
Warned that the "North South dialog" (betwen rich and poor nations) on transferring more real resources to the poor had ended so far in failure.
Revealed that the bank would increase it financing of labor-intensive activities to about $300 million by 1980 to stimulate rural farm employment and assist "cottage industries" and small-scale enterprises.
McNamara conceded that an increase from annual exports of $33 billion of manufactured goods in 1975 to a projected $94 billion total in 1985 - an 11 per cent annual increase - would require "practical adjustment assistance" for workers and industries in the developed world that might be displaced by the new wave of competition.
It was learned that private estimates by the bank's analysts are that the growth from $10 billion in poor nation's manufactured exports in 1965 to $33 billion in 1975 cost 1 million jobs in the industrial world.
On the same basis - 100,000 jobs per $20 billion of added exports over a ten-year period - expansion McNamara called for would displace an additional 3 million workers in the industrial West.
McNamara is said to believe that the industrial world would have a "tolerance" for this new influx of imports, provided there is a pattern of orderly expansion of trade as suggestd by French Pime Minister Raymond Barre, who has outlined a concept of "organized free trade."
McNamara would expect the poor countries for their part to try for new export possibilities, for greater efficiency of production, and to reduce further limits they put on increasing supplies of raw materials.
McNamara said in his speech that if the so-called Tokyo Round of trade negotiations in Geneva leads to a 50 per cent reduction in tariffs and if the industrial countries dismantle many non-tarif barriers, the export total could be boosted from $94 billion to $114 billion by 1985.