As the World Trade Organisation started to look for a new head, it was also struggling to remain relevant after repeated failures to revive global trade liberalisation talks.
Pascal Lamy, who steps down as director general of the WTO at the end of August, vowed in 2005 to make liberalisation his “first, second and third priority”, but by 2011 was finally forced to declare that talks on the issue were at an “impasse”.
The new chief will have to decide how to revive the so-called Doha talks, launched in that city in 2001, and which were intended to further liberalise trade in ways that would particularly help developing countries.
With Doha stalled, regional and bilateral trade deals have flourished, which could threaten to sideline the WTO.
“The big question is this: does the WTO retain its centrality in the trading system? It’s down to the next WTO head,” said Simon Evenett, professor of international trade at St Gallen University in Switzerland.
Lamy himself said recently that the major challenges for the new holder of the top job will be strengthening world trade, further opening trade and restricting protectionist tendencies.
The weak global economy makes the job of the next WTO head even more difficult.
World trade growth dropped from 13.8 percent in 2010 to 5.0 percent in 2011 and an estimated 3.7 percent last year. It is forecast to rise just 5.6 percent this year.
There are nine candidates being interviewed by the WTO – from Latin America – Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico; Africa – Ghana and Kenya; the Middle East – Jordan – and the Asia-Pacific region – Indonesia, New Zealand, and South Korea. Three are women.
The winner will be expected to untie the Doha Gordian Knot – to give developing countries a fairer deal on agriculture and better access to rich markets for their exports and services.
The new director general will be named by the end of May.
- 1Air France directors physically attacked after jobs loss plan confirmed
- 2Air France bosses’ shirts ripped off over jobs loss plan
- 3Historic and controversial, Trans-Pacific free trade deal is struck
- 4A painful Q3: global markets grim after worst quarter in years
- 5Russia ‘ready to meet’ other oil producers over market trouble
- 1Sweden ‘increasingly experimenting’ with six-hour workdays
- 2Air France directors physically attacked after jobs loss plan confirmed
- 3Expensive running shoes ‘rated worse’ than cheap ones, survey finds
- 4Air France bosses’ shirts ripped off over jobs loss plan
- 5Electric shock as Tesla’s Model X SUV finally launched
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 9Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 10Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 11Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 12International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 13Denmark: launches anti-migrant ad campaign
- 14Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 15Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 16International news | euronews, latest international news
- 17Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 18Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 19Migrant tripped up in Hungary gets Spanish football job
- 20[Live] All the Rugby World Cup news in one place
latest economy news
Air France denies it plans ’5,000 extra job cuts’
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed raises Twitter stake
Tesco’s profits slump as UK retailer tries to revive fortunes
SABMiller rejects latest AB InBev bid in big beer battle
Some Volkswagen investments may be cancelled, says CEO Müller
Wires > Business
- 21:14 CET IMF says China subscribes to data standard to boost economic…
- 21:08 CET Greek programme won’t succeed with tough austerity – Blanchard
- 20:31 CET Volkswagen plays down hopes of quick answers over emissions…
- 20:11 CET SABMiller rejects AB InBev’s $104 billion takeover approach
- 18:57 CET As global recession warnings sound, markets hit the afterburners
- 18:53 CET Alarmed by prospect of more Air France strikes, KLM staff speak out
- 18:21 CET Profits at big U.S. banks soar since crisis – New York Fed
- 18:13 CET Broker went on nights to help trader Hayes, prosecutor tells…