Which Countries Are Not Members Of The World Bank?

The World Bank Group Headquarters in Washington, DC. Editorial credit: Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com.
The World Bank Group Headquarters in Washington, DC. Editorial credit: Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com.

The World Bank is a financial institution that has been in existence for over 73 years. It was founded at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference on the same day that the International Monetary Fund was founded. The two people behind the idea of a centralized monetary fund were John Maynard Keynes who was a prominent economist of the 20th Century from Britain and Harry Dexter White, an American economist. The World Bank has a total of 189 member countries that hail from all the seven continents with the current president being Jim Yong Kim from South Korea. However, five countries are not part of the World Bank for various reasons. These countries include the following.

North Korea

North Korea has longtime been running a closed border policy that has seen the country abscond from most of the international organizations. The country has been under the Soviet control and adopted the communist ideals that are prevalent throughout the country and has secluded country to work towards achieving self-sufficiency without any outside help. Joining an international organization like the World Bank is viewed as interference by the communist nation.


Covering an area of only 18 square miles and having a population of about 77,000, this microstate is not a member of the World Bank. The probable reason for this is that Andorra is under the jurisdiction of both France and Spain who are both members of the World Bank, and any monetary policy that affects Spain and France affect Andorra too by extension.


Like North Korea, the nation of Cuba was under communist rule that has seen the country get secluded from most foreign relations with its neighbors and other international organizations. Its economy is strictly controlled by the state which runs everything in a bid to sustain itself.


Monaco, like Andorra, is another microstate which is an enclave of France that had for long faced struggles in their attempt to become an independent sovereign state. It became a reality in 1993; however, Monaco’s economy is tied to the French economy, and that could be the possible reason why they are not direct members of the World Bank.


Liechtenstein is an independent micro-state that has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world thanks to their small population of about 36,000 people. In place of the World Bank the small state has a customs union and monetary union with Switzerland which could be the reason why they are not engaged with any other international organization.


Other states and economies which are not part of the World Bank include Taiwan, which is considered the biggest economy outside the World Bank. There is also Hong Kong which is an enclave in China but has its separate economy. The state of Palestine is an observer nation at the United Nations and is also not a member of the World Bank. Vatican City is also not part of the World Bank as it is principally run by the church which never engages in financial deals with foreign states. The Republic of Kosovo is also another non-member state of the World Bank, but they are part of the International Monetary Fund family of nations.


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