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WTO: Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala may emerge unopposed as Korean Myung-hee withdraws

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South Korea had informed the US of its decision to withdraw its candidate for the race.

Emerging details indicate Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, may emerge as the sole contestant for the post of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as Yoo Myung-hee, her South Korean opponent, may withdraw from the race.

According to a report by the Washington Trade Daily, South Korea has decided to withdraw its candidate, Myung-hee, from the WTO top job.

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The Washington Trade Daily reported that South Korea had informed the US of its decision to withdraw its candidate for the race.

Yoo Myung-hee (@YooMyunghee1) | Twitter
Yoo Myung-hee

Yoo Myung-hee is the South Korean Trade Minister.

“Korea plans to withdraw Trade Minister Yoo from the race for new WTO director-general, paving the way for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the next DG and the first woman and African in the role,” Washington Trade Daily tweeted on its handle, @washtradedaily.

The WTO General Council Chair, David Walker, had recently announced that the meeting to decide the next WTO Director-General had been postponed, because of the new COVID-19 restrictions in Geneva and “current events”, which may not be unconnected to the US election.

Okonjo-Iweala has the support of the majority to become the next Director-General of the WTO, but the United States, which favours the South Korean candidate, is blocking the selection of the candidate from Nigeria.

However, the reported plan of the South Korean candidate to step down and the victory of US President-elect, Joe Biden, avails Okonjo-Iweala a clear advantage of clinching the position.

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