The first step in the selection process for the new head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) noted the elimination of candidates from Mexico, Egypt and Moldova.
Nigeria, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and South Korea represented by its Minister of Commerce Yoo Myung-hee will be decided in the next round scheduled for next Thursday. Three out of five candidates will be eliminated, leaving just two candidates in the third and final round for the top post at the world trade body on October 6. The final result, which will be determined by consensus among the 164 member countries, should be communicated in early November. For now, therefore, the candidates are increasing alliances and meetings with government representatives to try to obtain support. In favorable ballot, Ms. Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean candidate and Minister of Commerce of her country, went to Switzerland and France.
It must be said that most States appreciate its profile and its experience of 25 years of expertise plead in its favor. But also the leadership acquired through various negotiations with developed and developing countries, and Korea’s experience in achieving economic development through trade liberalization.
According to the “Yoonhap” agency in France, the Minister discussed with Franck Riester, Minister Delegate to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs in charge of foreign trade and attractiveness, the role of the World Trade Organization ( WTO) in strengthening the multilateral trading system. They also discussed the measures put in place by their respective governments to restore international trade and the world economy against the backdrop of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Yoo plans to meet with other French government officials.
The Minister of Commerce also traveled to Washington where she met officials in charge of commerce and the US government. The visit focused on discussing a wide range of issues related to South Korea’s economic ties with the United States. Support from the United States is seen as crucial to winning the top WTO job, as the United States is the largest contributor to the WTO in terms of budget.
Yoo is committed to rebuilding confidence in the multilateral trading system by making it more relevant, resilient and more responsive if chosen as the new leader. His candidacy comes amid growing trade tension between the United States and China, and strained relations between South Korea and Japan.
West African countries will probably support the Nigerian or Kenyan candidate in the second round. But it is possible to envisage the relationship of cooperation and development between Korea and West Africa. Sharing Korea’s development experience from a developing to an advanced country cannot be ruled out.