Bloc to support two female candidates for next WTO shortlist
Global trade arbiter plans to choose its new leader by Nov. 7
European Union governments will support the Nigerian and South Korean candidates to lead the World Trade Organization as the race enters its final mont.
EU member-country envoys agreed on Monday in Brussels to endorse Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister, and Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s trade chief, in their bids to become WTO director-general, according to an official familiar with the matter.
Hungary swung behind the planned recommendation after being the only EU country to withhold support at a lower-level meeting last Friday of officials representing the 27-nation bloc, the person said on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were confidential.
Who Will Lead the WTO and Help It Avoid Collapse?: QuickTake
Five candidates are still in the running to the lead the WTO. It plans to announce two finalists after Oct. 6 and name a winner by Nov. 7.
Brazilian Roberto Azevedo stepped down from the job at the end of August — a year before his term ended. The Geneva-based trade body faces headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S.-China trade battle, a hobbled arbitration system and a lack of tools to tackle growing challenges such as industrial subsidies.