Jordan to put forward Hindawi for top WTO job

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Jordan will put forward a former government minister for the top job at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) when the term of French Director General Pascal Lami expires at the end of August 2013, the Jordan Times reported, citing an unidentified senior government official.

The kingdom's government decided December 9 to nominate Ahmad Thougan Al Hindawi, a former minister of industry and trade for the top WTO post, marking the first time the country has contested the role.

Hindawi has 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors, serving as director general of the Standards Institution, assistant secretary general of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, director of the industrial development department, and industry and telecommunications sectors' head at the Ministry of Planning.

Hindawi, who currently heads management consulting firm Hindawi Excellence Group in the UAE, helped Jordan secure WTO accession in addition to the European Partnership Agreement, Arab Great Free Trade agreement, Free Trade Agreement with the United States and other bilateral agreements with other countries.

According to protocol, the nomination process for the post starts nine months prior to the expiry of the incumbent's term.

New Zealand has nominated its former minister of trade Tim Groser for the position, while Ghana is backing former presidential candidate and minister of trade Alan Kayerenetar. Brazil is putting forward its delegate to the WTO Roberto Azevedo, the newspaper reported. The UK, South Africa, Nigeria, and Costa Rica are expected to also nominate candidates.

The Geneva-based 157-member World Trade Organisation, established in 1995, deals with the global rules of trade between nations, handling disputes and monitoring trade policies.

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