The Straits Times
Published on Dec 20, 2012

Indonesian technocrat Mari Pangestu enters race to lead WTO


GENEVA (REUTERS) - Indonesia has entered the race for leadership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), nominating former trade minister Mari Pangestu to succeed Mr Pascal Lamy when he steps down in August 2013, bringing the second woman and the third continent into the contest.

Ms Pangestu, who studied in Australia and holds a doctorate in international trade from the University of California, is the third candidate to be nominated in as many days, following Ghana's Alan Kyerematen and Costa Rica's Anabel Gonzalez .

All five directors general in the WTO's 17-year history have been male, and all but one have come from developed countries.

The nomination of Ms Pangestu, a technocrat and reformer in Indonesia's cabinet, will be a surprise for many trade diplomats, since she is not one of the half-dozen names of likely runners that have been batted around Geneva in recent months.