Russia ready to cooperate with new WTO Chief – Economy Minister

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Russia is ready to cooperate with the newly-appointed Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, whose experience and authority will allow her successfully resolve topical issues.

Economic Development Minister Maksim Reshetnikov said on Tuesday.

Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian economist, made history on Monday becoming the first-ever woman and African to head the WTO.

“We intend to constructively cooperate with the new director-general, assist her in efforts to improve the organisation for the benefit of its members, and improve the efficiency of regular work and negotiations at the WTO,’’ Mr Reshetnikov said, as cited in the ministry’s press release.

The minister recalled that Russia consistently advocated for the early appointment of a new WTO head and actively participated in consultations with other members of the organisation on this issue.

“I am sure that the professional background of Okonjo-Iweala and her authority in the international arena will allow her to successfully tackle urgent issues the WTO is facing, strengthen the organisation’s key role in multilateral trade system, contribute to reaching compromise on key issues regarding reforming the WTO, which will eventually make a significant contribution to the world economic recovery,’’ the official added.

Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment follows months of deadlocked discussions between the WTO members on who should be chosen as the next director-general since former chief Roberto Azevedo stepped down in August, a year earlier than his second four-year term was set to end.

The new head will assume duties on March 1.


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