September 25, 2012 / 9:48 AM / 5 years ago

Mexico competition chief may be candidate for WTO job

GENEVA (Reuters) - Eduardo Perez Motta, head of Mexico’s competition commission, would enter the race to be the next director general of the World Trade Organization if his name were put forward.

Eduardo Perez Motta, president of Cofeco-Mexico's competition commission, speaks during Reuters Latin American Investment Summit in Mexico City May 3, 2010. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

“Just to answer your question, I could not say no,” Perez Motta told Reuters on Tuesday on the sidelines of the WTO’s annual public conference.

Pascal Lamy will stand down at the end of next August after two terms. Candidates to succeed him must be nominated by their governments by December and then have three months to campaign.

Only two candidates have formally declared their interest: Ghana’s former trade minister Alan Kyerematen and New Zealand’s current trade minister Tim Groser. Trade diplomats expect more candidates to emerge and Perez Motta’s name has been one of several in the rumor mill.

Diplomats have told Reuters that while it was the turn of Africa, the Caribbean or Latin America to hold the top WTO job, a Mexican candidate’s chance might be lessened by the fact the country’s Angel Gurria heads the OECD, and running two international bodies is seen as wielding too much influence.

Perez Motta, a former ambassador to the WTO, became chairman of the Mexican Federal Competition Commission in August 2004. He is also chairman of the International Competition Network, a grouping of 123 national competition authorities that has grown fast over the past decade while the WTO has stagnated.

Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Dan Lalor

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