WTO: South Korea Challenges Okonjo-Iweala’s Bid for Director-General


The Republic of South Korea has provided a tough challenge for Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in her bid to emerge as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, WTO.

South Korea yesterday threw a challenge to the bid of Nigeria’s economist who is seeking to replace Roberto Azvedez, who will be stepping down on 31 August 2020.


The Asian country has nominated Ms Yoo Myung-Hee, who’s the country’s first female Trade Minister to run against Okonjo-Iweala.

Myung-Hee has been a negotiator, strategist and pioneer in her 25-year career in the trade sector.

She has played in the multilateral trade arena from the early days in 1995 when she took charge of WTO affairs in the Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, through her role as Korea’s FTA strategist.

Most recently, she served as negotiator of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Korea-China FTA and the critical Korea-U.S. (KORUS) FTA renegotiations, among other trade initiatives.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination for the WTO’s top job.

The president initially nominated Nigeria’s permanent representative to WTO, Yono Frederick Agah, for the same role but later withdrew nomination.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently endorsed Okonjo-Iweala, for the position.

The election will hold in Geneva, Switzerland in 2021.