WTO Top Job: Okonjo-Iweala, Others Start Pitches Today

July 15, 2020
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Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and seven other contenders battling to become the next head of the beleaguered World Trade Organization (WTO), will make their pitches this week, with three days of auditions starting from Wednesday (Today).

Before facing a 75-minute grilling over their plans for the global trade body in Geneva, the candidates will make 15-minute presentations to the 164 member states’ representatives at the WTO headquarters in Geneva.

The new leader will have to sort out simmering trade tensions between the United States and China and revive stalled trade talks.

There are three African candidates, two from Europe, two from Asia and one from the Americas.

Africa’s trio are former Nigerian foreign and finance minister Okonjo-Iweala; Egyptian former diplomat Hamid Mamdouh; and Kenya’s former WTO General Council chair Amina Mohamed.

Britain’s first post-Brexit international trade secretary Liam Fox and former Moldovan foreign minister Tudor Ulianovschi are the two from Europe.

South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee and former Saudi economy minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri are running from Asia.

Ex-WTO deputy director-general Jesus Seade Kuri, who was the first to declare his candidacy is running from Mexico.

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