Okonjo-Iweala set to emerge WTO DG as South Korea withdraws
Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is set emerge the new Director General of the World Trade Organisation WTO, barring any last minute change in the scheme of
Washington Trade Daily is reporting that South Korea has taken the decision to withdraw its candidate who also doubles as its trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee from the WTO director-general race.
Nigeria’s candidate in the WTO race, Okonjo-Iweala had secured the popular vote by a wide margin on October 28 but was not named DG because the United States opposed her candidacy.
The two women are the last candidates standing and the eventual winner will set a record as being the first female WTO DG.
However, speculations have it that the US might change its position due to Donald Trump’s failure to get re-elected as president.
The WTO also said Okonjo-Iweala had the best chance of getting a consensus. This was after the October 28 meeting,
Washington Trade Daily quotes sources as saying South Korea has notified the US of its decision and is expected to make it public “in the coming days”.
“Washington refused to accept the recommendation made by the selection panel chaired by General Council Chair Ambassador David Walker that Okonjo-Iweala is the candidate most likely of the two to attract consensus because she clearly carried the largest support by members in the final round and clearly enjoyed broad support from members from all levels of development and from all geographic regions and has done so throughout the process,” the report read.
“Yoo from Korea failed to receive enough support from members of all levels of development -including., the developed, developing and least developing countries, as well as geographically in comparison to the “largest” support received by Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala.”
The November 8 general council meeting scheduled to consider the appointment of the next DG was also postponed.
Another general council meeting has been scheduled for December 17.