• Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first African and the first woman Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), spoke to CDE executive director Ann Bernstein about being a global reformer, fighting corruption and promoting global trade.
  • According to Dr Ngozi, the WTO and its predecessor – the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) – have created a more integrated and peaceful world, which led to over a billion people moving out of poverty.
  • Dr Ngozi explained that if the attacks on the WTO succeed in bringing about ‘deglobalization’, and the fragmentation of the world into trading blocs, global GDP would decrease by about 5 percent and the biggest losers would be developing countries. “The multilateral trading system is a global public good, and we must protect and invest in it,” she said.
  • Her experience of fighting corruption in Nigeria has shown Dr Ngozi that it is a long and often dangerous process, in which institutions are crucial. “The fight against corruption must go deep and we must all commit to the long-term. Part of that has to be about changing values and attitudes”, she said.
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