Brazilian named head of WTO

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BRASILIA, BRAZIL—A Brazilian trade diplomat has been appointed as the new head of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Robert Azevedo, Brazil’s ambassador to the WTO since 2008, will succeed France’s Pascal Lamy in September.

He was competing for the post with Mexico’s foreign trade minister Herminio Blanco. The WTO is expected to formally announce Azevedo as the new director-general on Wednesday.

He will be the first Latin American to head the WTO since its creation in 1995.

 President Dilma Rousseff sent out a station congratulating Azevedo.

“This is not just a victory for Brazil or a group of countries, but for the whole WTO.” It stated.

The WTO was created to facilitate world trade, allowing a free and fair flow of goods and services around the world. It replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which had been ruling over commerce since 1948. While the GATT only dealt with trade in goods, the WTO also deals itself with trade in services.

Mr Azevedo will begin the position in September, and will head his first biennial meeting of ministers in Bali this coming December. The WTO is currently battling to get agreement in the run up of this meeting.

By: Julia Roake

Source: BBC

Image: BBC

8 May 2013

08:30 am PDT

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