WTO: Okonjo-Iweala Pledges Support for Low-income Countries ahead of election

Nigeria’s candidate for the position of Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has pledged her support to least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Vulnerable Economies (SVEs) that are members of the global trade body if elected.

The former Nigerian minister of Finance, assured those countries that she would provide opportunities for them to participate in regional and global supply chains in order to enhance their presence in the trading system.

Okonjo-Iweala, in a presentation to the General Council of the WTO, a copy of which was posted on the organisation’s website at the weekend, said: “We must have a WTO that works for the benefit of all members regardless of size or level of economic development. LDCs and SVEs should have opportunities to participate in regional and global supply chains to enhance their presence in the trading system.

“We must be sensitive to the particular policy challenges that those countries face. A revamped trading system should offer opportunities for MSMEs to increase and diversify their market access, enabling them to generate employment and contribute to economic growth and sustainable development.”

She also promised to work with member-countries to develop a global trade body that is responsive to the challenge of facilitating the greater participation of women in international trade, particularly in developing countries, saying greater efforts should be made to include women-owned enterprises in the formal sector.

Okonjo-Iweala explained that she has the right combination of skills and experience need lead WTO into the future.

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