Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala, Seven from other Countries Join the Race for Top WTO job

With a former Nigerian foreign and finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala leading in the race for the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, more strong candidates have emerged.

The Economic Confidential gathered that Britain and Saudi Arabia have put forward late entries Wednesday for the contest, joining five others in the race to succeed the current WTO chief, Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo.

Azevedo announced in May that he would leave the job a year early, citing a “personal decision.”

Saudi Arabia nominated former economy minister and longtime banker Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri, while Britain announced the candidacy of forward former International Trade Secretary and Brexit proponent Liam Fox.

The other candidates for the job are: Jesús Seade Kuri of Mexico, who helped negotiate a new trade deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has been Nigeria’s finance minister and spent 25 years at the World Bank; Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt, a longtime trade negotiator; Tudor Ulianovschi, a former foreign minister for Moldova; Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea, a minister for trade; and Amina Mohamed, a former foreign affairs and trade minister for Kenya.

The time frame for the election has not been decided yet. The WTO chief is chosen by consensus by its 164 member states, based on a recommendation from its selection committee. Azevedo has said he’ll leave on Aug. 31.

The WTO, which was created in 1995 out of the former General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, has never had a woman director-general or national from Africa as its leader.

By PRNigeria