European Union Supports Nigeria And South Korea to Lead WTO

The European Union (EU) is supporting Nigeria’s candidate for the position of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a two time Minister of Finance as the race enters the final month.

Bloomberg reports that the EU governments also agreed in Brussels to support the South Korean candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, who is the country’s current trade minister, as the second candidate for the job.

Europe is backing the two candidates.

Hungary was the only country that did not support these candidatures among the 27-nation bloc last Friday, a source said on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were confidential.

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Five candidates are still in the race.

They are Saudi Arabia’s former minister of economy and planning, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri, the UK’s former secretary of state for international trade, Liam Fox, and Kenya’s former international trade minister, Amina Mohamed Jibril.

The WTO planned to announce two finalists after October 6 and name a winner by November 7.

Brazilian Roberto Azevedo stepped down from the job at the end of August a year before his term ended.

The Geneva-based trade organization is facing a mired of issues from the coronavirus pandemic, the US-China trade wars, a hobbled arbitration system and a lack of tools to tackle growing challenges such as industrial subsidies.

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