BEIJING, March 23 (Xinhuanet) -- China supports Brazil's Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Luiz Felipe Seixas Correa to run for director-general of the trade body, Chong Quan, China's Commerce Ministry spokesman said here Wednesday.
It is the first time that China expresses its support to a candidate for WTO director-general.
According to Chong, China has informed the decision when Commerce Minister Bo Xilai's met with visiting Brazilian Vice Foreign Minister Clodovaldo Hugueney Monday in Beijing.
Bo said China believes Correa is capable of making contribution to the common interests of all WTO members while safeguarding the interests of the developing members for the realization of the goals set in the Doha Development Agenda.
Correa is one of four candidates competing to succeed current WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi of Thailand, whose term expires on August 31.
The other three are former European Union trade chief Pascal Lamy; Mauritian Foreign Minister Jaya Krishna Cuttaree; and Uruguayan former chairman of the WTO's Executive General Council Carlos Perez del Castillo.
The WTO has laid out a clear timetable which it hopes will eventually throw up a consensus candidate without any need to go to a vote. On May 31, the WTO General Council will choose by consensus a successor.
A disagreement about the appointment of the last director-general pitted developing members against developed members and caused deep animosity in the WTO, leaving it without a chair for months.
A compromise, resulted in the incumbent Thai Panitchpakdi taking office for three years and the New Zealand's Mike Moore in office for three years before him.
The usual term for a WTO director-general is four years. Enditem