8 May 2013

New WTO chief named

3:15 pm on 8 May 2013

The World Trade Organisation has a new leader. Roberto Azevedo of Brazil is to be its next director general.

He's Brazil's ambassador to the organisation, who was chosen over former Mexican trade minister

Herminio Blanco in the final round.

Mr Azevedo will be the first Latin American to head the WTO since its creation in 1995.

President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil issued a statement of congratulations.

Other candidates were eliminated earlier in the contest, including New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser.

The WTO has 159 members. Current head Pascal Lamy of France is due to step down in September after two four-year terms.

His BBC reports his successor will face the tough task of trying to revive talks into a global trade deal. The Doha Round of trade liberalisation talks fell apart in 2008 and countries have been working out smaller deals since then.

The WTO replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which had been overseeing the rules of commerce since 1948.

The GATT covered trade in goods, while the WTO also deals in the trade of services, inventions and designs.