Jordan goes for broke! First time runner for top position at World Trade Organization

11-12-2012 12:00 AM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Jordan will contest the top post of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) when the term of French Director General Pascal Lami comes to an end on August 31, 2013, a senior government official told The Jordan Times on Monday.

According to the source, the Cabinet decided on Sunday to nominate Ahmad Hindawi, a former minister of industry and trade, for the top WTO position.

As the process to access the post must start nine months prior to the expiry of the term of the incumbent, the Chair of the General Council Elin Johansen, has notified WTO member states that the door for their nominations for the WTO top position will be open between December 1 and 31, 2012.

Since its establishment in 1995, this would be the first time that Jordan is competing for this prominent position.

With twenty five years of experience in the public and private sectors, Hindawi assumed several key posts in the government before serving as minister of industry and trade (2004-2005).

Before that, he was director general of the Standards Institution (2000-2004), assistant secretary general of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (1999-2000), director of the industrial development department (1997-1999), and industry and telecommunications sectors' head at the Ministry of Planning (1992-1994).

During those years, the Jordanian candidate developed and oversaw the implementation of economic policies that enhanced Jordan's economic liberalisation and integration into the world economy, as well as significantly advanced Jordan's trade and industry sectors.

Three other countries have expressed their interest in the top WTO position so far.

New Zealand nominated its former minister of trade Tim Groser. Ghana nominated a former presidential candidate and minister of trade Alan Kayerenetar. Brazil nominated its delegate to the WTO Roberto Azevedo. UK, South Africa, Nigeria, and Costa Rica are likely to put forward there candidates soon making this competition for the top WTO position a hotly contested election in the organisation's history.

Hindawi contributed significantly to the development of Jordan's industrial policy, oversaw the amendment of numerous Jordanian legislations, and development of new ones to insure their compatibility with WTO requirements including competition, intellectual property rights, anti-dumping and safeguard laws and regulations.

He was active in helping Jordan secure the WTO accession, the European Partnership Agreement, Arab Great Free Trade agreement, Free Trade Agreement with the United States and many other bilateral agreements with other countries.

Hindawi also introduced many innovative national programmes, mainly the King Abdullah II Award for Excellence for the Private Sector, aiming at enhancing the national and international competitiveness of Jordanian manufacturing and service industries.

Since 2006, Hindawi established a regional management consultancy firm operating from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, specialises in total quality management, strategic planning, human resources management and development, process management, financial management and related fields. He also served as chairman or member of several organisations and companies.

Hindawi has a Ph.D in manufacturing engineering/management from Birmingham University (UK) specialising in restructuring sectoral policies for productive sectors in developing countries. He has a MSc in industrial engineering/management from the University of Jordan and a BSc in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University (USA).

* Al Bawabah

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