WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO


29 October 1998
Who will succeed Renato Ruggiero?

The General Council has started the process of appointing the next WTO Director-General. The current WTO head, Mr. Renato Ruggiero, whose term ends in April 1999, has recommended that members agree on his successsor "as soon as possible, and certainly before the end of the year". At the agreed closing date of 1 October, the following have been nominated by their respective governments: 

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press releases
WTO news
Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches, 1995-99

Hassan Abouyoub - Morocco Back to top  

Mr. Hassan Abouyoub was born in 1952. After studying in Lyon (France), he was recruited by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Morocco and became Director of International Trade in 1980. In this position, Mr. Abouyoub conceived and implemented Morocco's trade policy reform. He led Morocco's accession to GATT and its trade negotiations with the European Community. He also participated in the Uruguay Round negotiations. 

Between 1990 and 1993, Mr. Abouyoub became successively Minister of External Trade and of Foreign Investment and Tourism. He took part in the conclusion of the Uruguay Round and in the organization of the Marrakesh Ministerial Conference. Mr. Abouyoub was elected Member of Parliament in 1993 and appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1994. 

As Minister of Agriculture, from 1995 to 1997, Mr. Abouyoub implemented Morocco's WTO commitments on agriculture and negotiated with the European Union a fishing agreement and the Euro-Mediterranean agreement establishing a free trade zone with Morocco. Since 1998, Mr. Abouyoub is an Ambassador in charge of trade negotiations. 

Rt. Hon Mike Moore MP - New Zealand  Back to top

Mike Moore was born in Whakatane, New Zealand, in 1949. After early experience as a printer, social worker, trade union researcher, in 1972 he became the youngest member of Parliament ever elected in New Zealand. Mr. Moore has served as New Zealand Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing (1984-1990), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1990), Deputy Minister of Finance (1988-1990) and Prime Minister (1990). As Trade Minister, he was active in launching the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. He is currently Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Overseas Trade. 

Mr. Moore is the longest serving member of the New Zealand Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade. He represented New Zealand at the first APEC Ministerial Meeting in Canberra in 1989 and served as a board member of Asia 2000, a New Zealand body dedicated to fostering closer ties with Asian countries. 

Mr. Moore holds a number of positions in community groups, such as Maori Welfare Committees and the anti-apartheid movement. He was appointed Constitutional Adviser to the Government of the Cook Islands in 1998. He is the author of eight books including " A Pacific Parliament" and "The Added Value Economy". 

Hon Roy Maclaren, P.C - Canada  Back to top

Roy MacLaren was born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1934. He holds Masters Degrees from both the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge and he attended an Advanced Management Program from Harvard University. 

Mr. MacLaren was a Member of Parliament from 1979-1984 and has gained professional experience in both the private and the public sectors. From 1974-1977 he was president of Oglivy Mather (Canada) Ltd and from 1984-1993 he held the position of Director at Deutsche Bank (Canada) Ltd. For ten years, he served in the Canadian Foreign Service and has held overseas posts at the UN in New York and Geneva where he was responsible for economic affairs in the Canadian Mission and a delegate to UNCTAD and ECOSOC. 

As Minister of International Trade (1993-1996), Mr. MacLaren negotiated the final stages of NAFTA and of the Uruguay Round of the GATT. Since 1996, he has been the High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. From 1988-1993 he was Opposition Critic for Trade and Chairman of the Liberal Caucus Economic Policy Committee. 

Mr. MacLaren is the author of 5 publications. 

H.E. Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi - Thailand  Back to top

Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi was born in 1946 in Bangkok. He holds a Masters Degree in Econometrics and Development Planning and a Ph. D. in Economic Planning and Development from Erasmus University, Rotterdam. He was awarded an Honorary Degree (Ph.D.) in Economic Development from the National Institute of Development Administration in 1995. 

Dr. Supachai has held a range of positions in former governments, including the position of Deputy Finance Minister of Thailand (1986-1988) and Deputy Prime Minister (1992-1995). In this capacity, he was directly in charge of Thailand's participation in the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations including its subsequent ratification and implementation. 

Since 1997, Dr. Supachai has served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce of Thailand and has been actively involved in international trade, playing an instrumental role in the drafting of Thailand's major economic policies, including the national economic and social development plans. Dr. Supachai has also acquired professional experience in the private sector, holding the position of President of the Thai Military Bank (1988-1992) and Chairman of Nava Finance and Securities.