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Mike Moore Was A Success As WTO Leader: Minister

29 August 2002

Mike Moore Was A Success As WTO Leader: Minister

Mike Moore's energetic leadership of the World Trade Organisation had been crucial in getting the Doha Round under way, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Tomorrow, Mr Moore leaves the WTO after three years. Under an agreement reached in 1999, Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi of Thailand will take over on 1 September for the next three years.

"Mike has done a fantastic job of advancing freer and fairer world trade," Mr Sutton said.

"Given what happened at Seattle at the start of his tenure, who would have confidently predicted that we would be negotiating a new round by now?

"The past three years have often been difficult for Mike and for the WTO. But Mike was never one to shy off challenges. He has transformed the WTO from what many perceived as a "rich man's club" to an inclusive organisation, open to scrutiny as never before."

Mike Moore had taken to the world the message that open, rules-based international trade could bring benefits to all countries, whether developing or developed, Mr Sutton said.

"Mike has been an inspirational advocate for the needs of the developing countries. His tireless efforts have created much greater understanding that a successful Doha Round is critical to global economic growth and poverty eradication.

"Mike has been an excellent ambassador for New Zealand in his WTO role. I'm sure he will continue to play a vital role in promoting trade and development.

"I look forward to working closely with Dr Supachai and fellow WTO ministers as we meet the historic challenge of bringing the Doha Round to a successful conclusion."

Ends

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