What’s Happening with the WTO Race

Several candidates are currently running for the post of head of the World Trade Organization.

Current CEO Ricardo Azevedo, said he would leave the WTO on August 31, a year before the expiration of his mandate. Azevedo said that he decided to leave the position for personal reasons, but added that it would be useful for the organization to change the leader in the current situation..

Personnel shifts are taking place against the backdrop of many experts questioning the future of the WTO as an engine of international trade.

The list of possible candidates for the post of head includes an employee of the Mexican Foreign Ministry Jesus Seid, former finance minister of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Financial Consultant Abdel Hamid Mamduh, diplomat Tudor Ulyanovsky, South Commerce Minister Korea Myung Hee, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Kenya Amina S. Mohamed, Consultant to the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Maziad al-Tuweijri, and also a member of the British Parliament Liam Fox.

Regardless of who takes over as head of the WTO, analysts believe that the organization will have to do a lot of work while international trade is not a priority for many economies..

«Retaining big players will be vital, proving the benefits of working with an organization after the pandemic», – told CNBC Gianmarco Ottaviano, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics.

WTO disappointed with US December decision to block appointment of two new members to the appellate body. This step means that now the WTO will not be able to make decisions on new trade disputes between member countries..

The WTO will have a new CEO

Earlier this year, the President of the United States Donald Trump named WTO «broken», pointing out how China lobbied its interests through a trade organization.

«We really need the WTO. The authority and full functionality of the organization must be restored», – told CNBC Karel Lannow, CEO, think tank CEPS.

The Geneva-based organization was formed in 1995 and expanded the rules of world trade for the first time by creating a market services and intellectual property. However, critics argue that this market has stood still since its inception..

EU and US officials agree that the WTO needs reforming and updating its rules, but there is still no consensus on how to do this..

The WTO will have a new CEO

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