WTO DG: Okonjo Iweala Still In Contention As Egypt’s Hamid Mamdouh Departs Race

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’s Hamid Mamdouh alongside two others has been voted out of the race to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

WTO DG: Okonjo Iweala Still In Contention As Egypt's Hamid Mamdouh Departs Race
DG: Okonjo Iweala Still In Contention As Egypt’s Hamid Mamdouh Departs Race

This was disclosed by Bloomberg on Thursday, before the meeting on Friday. The Candidates that are out of the race are Jesus Seade (Mexico), Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova) and Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt). The candidates were not able to secure support needed for the first round of 3 rounds of voting.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala joins 4 other candidates for the next round of voting. The candidates are; Liam Fox (UK), Amina Chawahir Mohamed Jibril (Kenya), Yoo Myung-hee ( South Korea) and Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri ( Saudi Arabia).

She disclosed that part of her vision is to build a trade institution where there is greater trust among its members. She also stressed that the WTO, at this critical time, is needed to ensure that trade and global markets remain open.

On healing the rift between the US and China, Okonjo-Iweala admitted that it is going to be challenging and not be easy.

“Well, this is not going to be easy, if it was easy, it could have been done a long time since. So it would be very challenging but it is not an impossible job. It is very clear that both the US and China have been helped and benefitted from the multilateral trading system in the past. Hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty. They have experienced shared prosperity in the economies and their countries,” she said.

She added she would listen to both countries to find out what really are the issues causing distrust among them. She said that she will not want to be involved in the larger political problems, but will rather separate the trade issues and focus on them and build this trust.

“You need to begin to find areas where there can be confidence-building and trade. Building trust is not talking about it, you have to have areas where both can work together and agree and we have a golden opportunity in the fisheries subsidies negotiations that are going on now because the US is a party to it, China is a party, the EU, all other members,’’ she said.

Adelowo Adegboyega
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