The Brazilian ambassador, Roberto Azevêdo, defeated the Mexican candidate Hermínio Blanco in the competition for the post of director-general of the World Trade Organization(WTO), on May 7, 2013. Both the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) favored the Mr. Blanco, whereas Mr. Azevêdo had the support of developing countries.
As of August this year, Roberto Azevedo will replace the current Director-General, Pascal Lamy, as the head of the WTO. This is the first time that a Latin American is elected for a full four-year term of office, as well as the first significant post in the global governance occupied by a country member of the BRICS (Brazil, China, Russia, India and South Africa).
Among the aims of the new director-general of the WTO, special mention should be given to the strengthening of multilateral agreements to negotiate further reductions in trade barriers as well as resume the Doha Round, which has been halted since 2008 due to disagreements over agricultural negotiations. These measures, among others, are intended to reverse the past years' trend, in which the WTO's importance was relativized due to the increase in bilateral and regional agreements among member states.
Another obstacle faced by the WTO concerns trade protectionism. Trade barriers have significantly increased during the past years, resulting in a negative impact to world trade.
On assuming the post of WTO's director-general, Roberto Azevêdo will no longer represent Brazilian interests and will thereafter seek to improve rules applied to international trade under the WTO.