South Korea's trade minister sees WTO at "critical turning point"

World Trade Organization WTO in Geneva, via dts
World Trade Organization WTO in Geneva, via dts
The Korean candidate for the WTO chief post, Yoo Myung-hee, sees the economic crisis caused by the corona pandemic as a unique opportunity to lead the World Trade Organization out of its crisis.

“It is the chance for the WTO to show that it is relevant and flexible,” said the South Korean trade minister to the “Handelsblatt”. Yoo, who has negotiated numerous trade agreements between South Korea and other countries in recent years, speaks of a "critical turning point".

For this revival, however, important reforms would finally have to be implemented: After the new General Director has been found, the 164 member states would have to agree on rules for subsidies and market access by the summer. The jurisdiction of the controversial appellate courts of the WTO must also be clarified more precisely. The reform ideas of the member states still diverged widely. "However, everyone is convinced that the organization needs to be revitalized." Eight candidates have applied for the post of General Director. The first selection round is scheduled for this week. For the first time in the history of the World Trade Organization, a woman could move to the top: three of the eight candidates are women. In addition to Yoo, Amina Mohamed, Deputy Head of the United Nations Secretariat from Kenya, and the former Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are candidates.