WTO candidate visits Tanzania

Tanzania stands a better chance of securing a unique share in participating competitively in global trade provided the right development course of action is set-forth.

The candidate for the post of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General, Mr Roberto Azevedo, made the remarks yesterday in Dar es Salaam after meeting officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations. The aim of the tour was to present his candidature.

“Most developing countries including Tanzania possess unique and necessary resources which can be transformed into goods and services having competitive nature in the world markets,” he said in an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News.’

He said trade is an integral and indispensible element for growth and development of any economy, thus the ability to compete in global markets is a reliable indicator of sustainability of such economic models.

For example, Tanzania has extensive opportunities of developing the tourism, agriculture and mining sectors which could place the country in a distinctive position of participating competitively in the global trade.

In the annual World Economic Forum competitiveness study for travel and tourism (2011) Tanzania scores a very high second position, after Brazil, in the field of natural resources, but out of 139 countries studied, Tanzania’s overall position, however, dropped 12 places from 98 to 110.

Mr Azevedo said lacking right course of action which could put clear direction of the development agenda is among the factors haunting small economies apart from possessing abundant resources. 

“It is high time developing nations increased investments in technical expertise and infrastructures which are necessary tools for setting development motion to be reflected into stable economic growth and improved living standards,” he added.

The WTO DG candidate expressed gratitude for the positive responses and supports for his move to vie for the world trade organisations post which he received from Foreign Affairs Ministry on behalf of the government. 

The selection process will conclude with a decision by the General Council no later than May 31st this year where nine candidates will contest for the WTO post.

Apart from Mr Azevedo from Brazil, others are Mr Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen-Ghana, Ms Anabel Gonz├ílez-Costa Rica. 

Other candidates on the list include Ms Mari Elka Pangestu-Indonesia, Mr Tim Groser-New Zealand, Ms Amina Mohamed-Kenya, Mr Ahmad Thougan Hindawi-Jordan, Mr Herminio Blanco-Mexico and Mr Taeho Bark from the Republic of Korea.

If elected to the DG post, Mr Azevedo said he will ensure that the Doha negotiations are implemented to make WTO systems more responsible for developing countries.
Source: The Daily News,www.dailynews.co.tz, reported from Dar es Salaam
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