Liam Fox nonetheless in operating for WTO chief as race narrows

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Liam Fox Image copyright PA Media

Former minister and main Brexiteer Liam Fox stays within the operating to be the brand new head of the World Trade Organization.

Three different contenders have been knocked out of the competitors after failing to safe sufficient votes.

It means 5 candidates stay within the race to be the following director-general.

Mr Fox could be the primary British boss of the organisation, which regulates the phrases of worldwide commerce.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his congratulations to Mr Fox, saying the WTO “would be in excellent hands under his leadership”.

He has additionally received the assist of his ministerial successor. Trade Secretary Liz Truss stated she was “delighted” Mr Fox stays within the race.

“The world needs a WTO director general that will stand up for free trade and fight protectionism. Business as usual will not work. We need someone with political skill who can build consensus, get things done, and drive forward the urgent reform that is needed.

“Liam is the perfect candidate for that,” said Ms Truss.

The three candidates who left the race are Mexico’s Jesus Seade, Egypt’s Hamid Mamdouh and Moldova’s Tudor Ulianovschi.

The remaining candidates to replace the current director-general, the Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, have to secure support from the WTO’s 164 member states.

The members have said they want to reach a consensus in November. The contest comes at a crucial time for the Geneva-based body, amid a slump in global trade in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest odds

Mr Fox is still an outsider in the race to be the next WTO chief, according to the latest odds from Ladbrokes, which has him in fourth place at 10/1.

The other remaining candidates are:

  • Amina Mohamed of Kenya – a former cupboard minister, lawyer and diplomat. She was the chairwoman of the WTO’s common council and is 11/four favorite
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria – an economist and professional in worldwide growth who labored on the World Bank and now sits on Twitter’s board. She is a US citizen, having studied at Harvard and earned a PhD from MIT, and a pair of/1 second favorite
  • Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea – the primary girl to be South Korea’s commerce secretary, she has centered her profession on commerce negotiations, and 6/1 with Ladbrokes
  • Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of Saudi Arabia – a former minister and managing director for HSBC within the Middle East. He was a pilot within the Saudi Air Force in the course of the First Gulf War and has labored in banking since 1995. An outsider at 10/1

‘Brexit prism’

Mr Fox was the UK’s worldwide commerce secretary underneath former prime minister Theresa May, when he was accountable for selling UK commerce post-Brexit.

He was sacked when Mr Johnson entered Downing Street, having supported Mrs May’s Brexit withdrawal deal, which Mr Johnson opposed.

He has downplayed the significance of Brexit and didn’t point out it in his speech to the WTO’s governing physique in July.

Asked whether or not ongoing commerce talks between the UK and EU would show a bonus or impediment to his bid, he replied: “Very fortunately, not everyone in the world sees every issue through the Brexit prism.”

Speaking after his listening to, Mr Fox stated the WTO wanted an skilled politician – quite than a “technocrat” – to assist it navigate “what is a very difficult time”.