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WTO: Okonjo-Iweala’s Korean rival to withdraw from race

The coast may be finally clear for Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to emerge as the next Director-General (D-G) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as her only opponent, South Korean Yoo Myung-hee is set to withdraw from the race, according to the Washington Trade Daily.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that South Korea has decided to withdraw its candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, from the race and had notified the US of the decision, which would be made 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 Ms 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- the developed, developing and least developing countries, as well as geographically in comparison to the ‘largest’ support received by Ms Okonjo-Iweala.”

South Korea’s Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, and Dr. Okonjo-Iweala are the last candidates standing following the resignation of Roberto Azevedo and the eventual winner will set a record as being the first female WTO DG. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala had secured the popular vote by a wide margin on October 28 but was not named DG because the US opposed her candidacy. However, there are speculations that the US might change its stance following Donald Trump’s failure to get re-elected as president.




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