Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: WTO members must intensify cooperation

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: WTO members must intensify cooperation

If we are to restore the organisation’s credibility, countries must set aside their differences

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

On Monday I became the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO). Now we must roll up our sleeves and get to work.

The WTO already faced acute challenges and they have been amplified by Covid-19. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy, affecting supply chains and disrupting transport and travel. The crisis has upended trade and economic activities, leading to job losses and reduced incomes around the world. It has erased years of economic gains made by developing countries and even decades of growth in some low-income and least-developed countries.

There is hope on the horizon. The WTO expects world merchandise trade to rebound strongly this year. The IMF forecasts eight-percent growth in global trade volumes in 2021 and six-percent growth in 2022. It estimates global gross domestic product to rebound from falling 4.4% in 2020 to growing 5.5% in 2021...

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