Roberto Azevêdo reappointed to WTO

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Hangzhou/China - O presidente Michel Temer, durante encontro com o diretor-geral da Organização Mundial do Comércio, Roberto Azevêdo(Beto Barata/PR)

Azevêdo and President Temer at a meeting in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016Beto Barata/PR

Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Azevêdo will serve a second four-year term as Director-General at the World Trade Organization (WTO), starting on September 1 this year.

Azevêdo was the only candidate running for the job, and his reappointment was approved by the WTO’s General Council on Tuesday (Feb. 28).

Brazil’s President Michel Temer used his Twitter account to greet the ambassador. “I wish you success and happiness,” the president said on social media.

According to a statement from the presidential office, Azevêdo promised Temer at a meeting in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016, to strengthen the WTO’s partnership with the Brazilian government to increase the country’s integration into the global economy.

The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out Azevêdo’s reappointment reflects the WTO’s wide recognition of the director-general’s contribution to the organization’s achievements during his first term (2013-2017).

Regarding hisperformance, the ministry pointed out that the negotiations of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) were completed at the 2013 Ministerial Conference in Bali. The TFA has been the first multilateral agreement completed by the WTO since its creation in January 1, 1995. The global agreement to streamline foreign trade entered into force on February 22.

According to the WTO, 110 countries have ratified the FTA—that’s two-thirds of its membership, as required for it to enter into force.

The deal is expected to cut trade costs by an average 14.3 percent and result in $1 trillion worth of trade per year. Out of this total, $730 billion will be generated in developing countries.

The Foreign Ministry noted that during the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015, under Azevêdo’s directorship, there was a historic understanding on the lifting of subsidies for agricultural exports.

“On January 23, the Protocol of Amendment to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which facilitates the access of developing countries to essential drugs, entered into force,” the ministry said in a note.

Translated by Mayra Borges

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