Key challenges the new WTO chief faces

The trade body needs to evolve and accommodate new international realities in order to regain its central role

Incoming World Trade Organisation chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The first female and African to assume the post, her immediate task will be to rebuild trust and confidence in the institution.PHOTO: REUTERS

Nigeria's former finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, takes over as director-general of the World Trade Organisation on March 1. She will be the first female and African to assume the post and her immediate task is to rebuild trust and confidence, and to take on challenges facing the WTO. There are several.

First, the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations, meant to complete the unfinished business of the Uruguay Round and to provide a new impetus for more ambitious multilateral trade liberalisation, have practically ground to a halt since 2008.

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