15 February 2021 Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar has welcomed today’s (Monday 15th February) appointment of Nigerian economist, former Managing Director of the World Bank and former Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala becomes the first female, and first African, to head the rule-making body for global trade.
“Ireland and the EU supported Dr Ngozi during the selection process and her appointment.
“As a small island economy at the heart of Europe, we owe our economic development to the free flow of trade and investment. This trade is possible thanks to international rules that are fair, enforceable, and fit for the future. At a time when many countries are looking inwards, Dr Ngozi and the WTO will be crucial in reinvigorating the global trading system.
“When I spoke with Dr Ngozi I was struck by her professionalism, her broad international experience and her deep appreciation of the political and economic challenges we face. Dr Ngozi has a clear view on the role of free trade in dealing with these challenges.
“And with a global pandemic still underway, the world trading system continues to play an important role in the global response, promoting post-pandemic recovery and overcoming global environmental challenges.
“Ireland and the EU look forward to working with Dr Ngozi to re-assert the important role of the WTO.”