Why Mohamed Al-Tuwaijriis the perfect candidate to lead WTO


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has appointed the Counsellor to the Royal Court, Muhammad bin Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri, to run for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In its note to the international organization, Riyad affirmed its great confidence in the multilateral trading system and the vital role of the WTO. It emphasized the importance of reinforcing the rules-based openness of the multilateral trading system.

The appointment of Muhammad bin Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri arrives in a stage of greatest changes in the world trading system.The coronavirus pandemic has sent the world trading regime into the biggest crisis since the Second World War. In June, the IMF projected that the global economy would contract by 4.9 percent this year.

Lockdowns imposed worldwide to curve the spread of the virus affected on commerce. In April, the WTO prognosticated that trade could decline between 13 and 32 percent in 2020. In its August trade barometer, the WTO recorded a 14 percent drop in global merchandise value between the first and the second quarter of 2020. It also expected an 18.5 percent drop in merchandise commerce during the second quarter, when lockdowns were strict and comprehensive.

The new director-general of the WTO must have the experience and the capability to impartially negotiate with all of the 164 member countries. Given the ongoing dispute between the United States and China, the new WTO chief must hail from a country that has cordial relations with both the largest economies in the globe. It is also vital that his Nation of origin weights to negotiate at eye level with those two titans to give him the necessary clout.

Who better than Saudi Arabia? The Kingdom feels its responsibilities for the current presidency of the G20 summit. It reaffirms the Kingdom continued support for international efforts to advance and formulate a strategic vision for the G20 member states, aiming to promote the role of trade in driving economic growth and achieving sustainable development. It is one of the top twenty economies in the world and the largest economy in the Arab world and the Middle East.

With a combined value of $ 33.2 trillion, Saudi Arabia has the second most valuable natural resources in the world that it has been able to develop and use wisely. Riyadh has managed to create an opportunity even where other countries have seen a crisis. During COVID-19, the Saudi Fund for Public Investments (PIF) spent billions of dollars to buy shares of foreign companies at bargain prices, securing long-term millionaire profits. That confirms the Kingdom’s determination to diversify the economy, previously based solely on oil production.

Al-Tuwaijri has all the credentials to successfully fill this position WTO as he has a long experience in finance and public management. He earned an Honours Masters in Business Administration from King Saudi University in 1998, and he held many key-positions in Riyad. Al-Tuwaijri served as Minister of Economy and Planning.

He was a member of the Council of Ministers and the Council of Economic Affairs and Development from 2017 to 2020. Deputy Minister of Economy and Secretary-General of the Finance Committee at the Royal Court from 2016 to 2017, covering the position of Vice President of the National Development Fund and head of the National Transformation Program. During his mandate, he started strategic partnerships with several countries in the Gulf and Europe. Previously he held the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Statistical Authority and several other leadership positions in his field.



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