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WTO To Be Led By A Woman For The First Time In 25 Years

in International Business

WTO To Be Led By A Woman For The First Time In 25 Years

For the first time in its 25-year history, the World Trade Organization will be led by a woman. The field of candidates vying for the position of director-general include Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

One of them will replace Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down in August 2020 while the Geneva-based body was facing it’s biggest crisis in its 25-year history.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been Minister of Finance in Nigeria since 2011. She also served as Finance Minister and subsequently Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003-2006. Before taking up her current Ministerial duty, she was Managing Director of The World Bank Group from December 1, 2007 until August 2011.

As the first female Trade Minister for the Republic of Korea, Yoo Myung-Hee has been an innovator, negotiator, strategist and pioneer in her 25 year career in trade. She has devoted her career to progress in the multilateral trade arena from the early days in 1995 when she took charge of WTO affairs in the Korean Ministry of Trade Industry and Energy, through her role as Korea’s key FTA strategist to, more recently, negotiator of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Korea-China FTA and the critical Korea-U.S. (KORUS) FTA renegotiation, among other trade initiatives.

Minister Yoo’s belief in the importance of the multilateral system and its constant renewal derives from Korea’s position as a major beneficiary of the open trading system represented by the GATT and WTO.


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Women leadersWorld Trade Organization

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