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World Bank: G-20 target represents 'paradigm shift'

The G-20's first specific growth target, announced over the weekend, has been given a stamp of approval by the World Bank.

Bertrand Badre, the managing director and group chief financial officer at the World Bank, told CNBC on Monday that the most important development to come out of the G-20 was the shift in focus away from austerity towards growth.

(Read More: IMF's Lagarde confident on 'action-oriented' G-20 plan)

"I think it's fantastic that the global community has an aim of making growth the center of the agenda. Contrary to speculation before, everybody's supporting it. It's a great paradigm shift," said Badre.

"One of the most important elements is just the word 'growth.' We have emerged from many years when it was just about austerity," he added.

The G-20 said in a communiqué on Sunday that they would develop policies to lift their collective gross domestic product by an additional 2 percentage points over the coming five years, generating over $2 trillion in additional output and creating tens of millions of new jobs.

Members have until November when the next G-20 summit takes place in Brisbane, Australia, to finalize their own strategies to implement the structural reforms necessary to achieve the fresh target.

(Read More: Global growth targetambitious but achievable: France)

Christine Lagarde (R), International Monetary Fund Managing Director, and World Bank Chief Financial Officer Bertrand Badre.
Saeed Khan | AFP | Getty Images
Christine Lagarde (R), International Monetary Fund Managing Director, and World Bank Chief Financial Officer Bertrand Badre.

Badre said it was important to remember that growth achieved needed to be of high quality, and equally spread across different classes of people.

"One of our concerns is rising inequality, so we will do our job to work on inequality as well," she added.

The G-20 target has already been met with some skepticism as many analysts have labeled it ambitious and have cast doubt over whether each country involved will be able to deliver on its individual targets in terms of pushing through important reforms.

"There's a profound lack of imagination that's coming through from these G-20 meetings," Arjuna Mahendran, chief investment officer of Emirates National Bank of Dubai, told CNBC on Monday.

(Read More: Spain upgrade welcome but more work needed: Minister)

"There's a very significant, almost earth shattering lack of any sort of profound initiative, to try and re-think the way countries should come together and resolve some of these problems," he added.

However, Badre said it was not constructive to start thinking negatively at this point.

"We just decided on this aim and I don't want to start thinking we're going to fail. We'll to do everything positively to make it possible that's the key," he told CNBC.

"Everybody's facing different constraints and different issues. The name of the game is to be structural… in one country it's about tax reform, [and in] another it's about labor reform, so there is no 'one size fits all' approach," he added.

(Read More: India central bank: Emerging markets 'on their own')

The World Bank CFO added that he expected trade to play an integral role in achieving the target, as focus turns to whether or not the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will be completed this year, alongside other important world trade agreements.

"Trade has been one of the key engines of growth since 1945 and the slowdown in trade in the last few years did not do good for the global economy," he said.

"We will help our clients and our members to work on that," he added.

By CNBC's Katie Holliday: Follow her on Twitter @hollidaykatie

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