By Mike Jones
GENEVA/Austria:The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, has been elected Vice-Chairperson (Africa) for the 11th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference.
The UN trade agency said Enelamah’s election alongside two others was decided at the meeting of the WTO General Council in Geneva on July 26.
“At a General Council meeting on 26 July, WTO members elected three officials to serve as Vice Chairs for the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires.
“The officials are: Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (Nigeria); Mr Todd McClay, Minister of Trade (New Zealand); Mr Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Hong Kong, China).
“On 18 May 2017, the General Council agreed to elect Minister Susana Malcorra of Argentina to chair MC11. The Ministerial Conference will take place on 10 to 13 December 2017.”
The WTO General Council acts on behalf of the Ministerial Conference on all WTO affairs.
Enelamah’s election is considered as a very important recognition of Nigeria’s leadership role at the WTO and contributions on global trade policies.
The Ministerial Conference, which meets every two years, is the topmost decision-making body of the WTO.
It meets as the Dispute Settlement and Trade Policy Review Body to oversee procedures for settling disputes between members and to analyse members’ trade policies.
It also brings together members of the organisation, all of which are countries or customs unions and can take decisions on matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.