Saudi Arabia’s WTO candidate wants practical pilot at the controls

Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, 53, said the World Trade Organization, which was founded in 1995, was due a shake-up. (AFP/File Photo)
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Updated 16 September 2020

Saudi Arabia’s WTO candidate wants practical pilot at the controls

  • Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, 53, said the WTO, which was founded in 1995, was due a shake-up
  • Former Saudi economy minister is one of eight candidates in the running to replace Roberto Azevedo

GENEVA: The World Trade Organization has ground to a halt and needs a pragmatic new director-general to drive through reforms, the Saudi candidate for the job said on Wednesday.
Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, 53, said the WTO, which was founded in 1995, was due a shake-up.
“Twenty-five years; in my mind, every organisation in the world -- regardless of the external environment, which is severe in our case -- must have the fresh restart,” he told the Geneva Press Club.
Al-Tuwaijri is one of eight candidates in the running to replace Roberto Azevedo. The Brazilian career diplomat quit the WTO helm at the end of August, a year before his second term was due to expire.
Three candidates will get the chop on Friday as WTO member states narrow down the field.
A former air force pilot who flew more than 30 Gulf War missions, Al-Tuwaijri was a banker who ran JPMorgan's fledgling Saudi Arabia operations before joining HSBC.
The former Saudi economy minister currently advises the Kingdom's royal court on economic strategy.
The WTO is in paralysis due to the trade war between the United States and China, US President Donald Trump's mistrust of the global trade body and, according to Tuwaijri, a lack of re-evaluation within the organisation itself.
“Hence my approach is around practical leadership,” he said.
“We need to really listen to members, but be very impartial, give ideas... gradual progress: we cannot have a switch on, switch off.”


Saudi graduates from UK universities honored in virtual awards ceremony

Updated 39 min 12 sec ago

Saudi graduates from UK universities honored in virtual awards ceremony

  • The Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, spoke during the virtual ceremony

LONDON: A virtual awards ceremony celebrating Saudi graduates from UK universities was held on Wednesday evening with the British and Saudi ambassadors in attendance. 

The Study UK Alumni Awards event was held to celebrate the success of Saudi students and their contribution to their professions and their community in the Kingdom.

The Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, spoke during the virtual ceremony, which was streamed on the Facebook pages of the British Embassy in Riyadh and the British Council.

He was joined by Neil Crompton, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

The ceremony’s awards were split into three categories — the Professional Achievement award won by Dr. Samar Khan of Nottingham Trent University, the Entrepreneurial award won by Abdulaziz Alsaeed of Newcastle University and the Social Impact award, which was given to Dr. Mawya Khafaji from the University of Exeter.