Brazil's Roberto Azevêdo to take control of WTO

May 20, 2013
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Roberto Azevêdo to take control of WTO

Brazil's Roberto Azevêdo is getting set to receive a major promotion and will soon be viewed as a high-authority figure on a global stage. The politician and diplomat has represented Brazil at the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2008 and now he has been selected to run it.

Earlier this month, Azevêdo was elected to succeed France's Pascal Lamy as Director-General of the WTO. He will officially take over in September, but he has already begun to indicate his plans for the organization. Given the current state of the global economy, Azevêdo understands the importance of his work and that he must right the ship by making a number of changes, including solidifying the union between established and developing countries.

Political differences have hindered much of the WTO's progress in recent years, but Azevêdo is urging his colleagues to put these differences aside for the betterment of the organization and the global economy.

"We must try to move the organization forward, and it has nothing to do with the specific policies of one country or another," he said.

Meanwhile, Brazil's political leaders are confident in Azevêdo's abilities to establish himself as an enforcer who can get things done and improve the overall state of the world economy. There is much enthusiasm regarding the choice to promote Azevêdo, particularly among BRIC countries—a group consisting of Brazil, Russia, India and China—as he is the first individual from that congregation to ascend to his new position.

For Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, this is a chance to show what the country is made of and an opportunity to establish itself as a global leader. Brazil is preparing itself to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016, and this is another chance for the country to show that its representatives can handle complex global issues. Rousseff gave a statement recently commending those who voted Azevêdo into his role and indicated that Brazil is up to any and all potential challenges.

"For Brazil, it is clear that, as a result of its commitment and experience, the country will be able to lead the organization toward a more just and dynamic world economic order," Rousseff said.

It's unclear now what impact this will have on organizations looking to do business in Brazil, as no major impact will be felt until at least September. However, once the change is official and Brazil establishes ownership of the WTO, it will be important to keep up with any changes or new regulations pertaining to international business. Lawyers in Brazil can help companies with this process.

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