Brazil has been criticized for battling a slowdown in its growth with protectionist trade policies, restrictions on capital flows and programs that favor local industry.
Can one of its diplomats now become the world’s free-trade champion?
World Trade Organization members announced in Geneva on Wednesday that they had chosen Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo to be the next director general, turning to a longtime trade diplomat from a prominent developing country to run an organization fighting to restore its clout.
The 12-year-old world trade talks known as the Doha Round are stalled, and top economic powers such as the United States and Europe have as an alternative struck out on their own in negotiations with different sets of nations. Some have warned that the WTO is losing significance as the global economy undergoes rapid change.
Azevedo says his insider’s knowledge of the organization and credibility in the developing world will help him resolve some of the long-standing disagreements over agriculture and open markets.