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News - October 6, 2020

EU Endorses Okonjo-Iweala as DG of World Trade Organization

Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s race to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) received a boost on Monday, Oct. 6, as the European Union member-country endorsed her candidacy.

According to Bloomberg, the EU-member envoys, who met in Brussels, Belgium, also agreed to endorse South Korea’s trade chief, Yoo Myung-hee.

However, it was reported that Hungary had withheld support for the two candidates at a meeting of lower-level of officials representing the 27-nation bloc last Friday, but the country eventually backed Okonjo-Iweala and Myung-hee’s candidacy at the Monday meeting.

With five other candidates still in the race, the WTO would announce two finalists today and a winner is expected to be named on November 7.

ALSO READ: Why Okonjo-Iweala may become first female World Bank President in 74 years

The position became vacant after Brazilian Roberto Azevedo stepped down in August, a year before the end of his tenure.

Whoever occupies the position is expected to be battle-ready for a range of challenges – the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S-China trade war, a hobbled arbitration system, among others.

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