International Trade Explained | World101
For the first time in its 25-year history, a woman will lead the World Trade Organization.
According to the organization’s statement, the number of candidates running for the post of the next WTO director general at the end of this year has dropped to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) from Nigeria and Yoo Myung Hee (Yoo Myung-hee) from South Korea.
One of them will replace Roberto Azevedo (Roberto Azevedo), who stepped down a year earlier in August after the WTO found itself at the center of an escalating U.S.-China trade struggle.
The WTO was created in 1995 with the aim of promoting open trade for the benefit of the entire world. The organization negotiates, enforces the rules of international trade and tries to resolve disputes between 164 members.
Okonjo-Iweala is an economist and former finance minister of Nigeria. She spent 25 years at the World Bank, rising to the position of Managing Director of Operations. In 2018, she joined the Twitter board. She also chairs the board of Gavi, an international organization that seeks to bring the public and private sectors together to improve access to vaccines..
Yoo Myung Hee – the first woman who was able to take the post of Minister of Commerce of South Korea.
The next WTO CEO will take over control of an organization that is struggling to prevent trade disputes between member countries, most notably the United States and China. It will also be forced to grapple with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic that has hit trade and sparked a deep global recession..
Much may depend on the outcome of the US presidential elections in November.
The president Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the WTO and undermined its mission by imposing tariffs on allies, including Canada and Mexico, as well as China, the world’s second largest economy and the United States’ main rival. Trump has blocked the appointment of key personnel to the WTO, making it difficult for the organization.
Yoo Myung Hee described OBE as «at a crossroads». In her campaign video, she said participants must now work to restore confidence and reform the global trading system..
«The global economy is under tremendous pressure. That is why the WTO is more important than ever», – she said.
Okonjo-Iweala, who hails from one of the few regions in the world where free trade flourishes, told CNN in August that trade will play an important role in the recovery from the coronavirus..
«The WTO needs a leader now. She needs a fresh look, a fresh face, an outsider, someone who is able to reform and work with members to make sure the WTO comes out of the partial paralysis she is in.» – she said in an interview.