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WTO: Nigeria’s Ngonzi Okonjo-Iweala still in contention as candidates reduced to 2

Okonjo Iweala and Yoo Myung-hee have emerged the last two candidates standing in contention for the role of DG of WTO.

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, World Bank, Davos, World Economic Forum, WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt,WTO:  Happy to be in final rounds of DG Campaign- Okonjo Iweala

Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has made it to the final rounds of voting for the post of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the 7th of November.

This was announced today, October 7th after the final rounds of voting for the remaining 5 candidates, as Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee emerged as the last two candidates standing.

Nairametrics reported last month that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was still in contention after 8 candidates were shortlisted to 5. The five remaining candidates at the time were;  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria), Liam Fox (UK), Amina Chawahir Mohamed Jibril (Kenya), Yoo Myung-hee (South Korea), and Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri (Saudi Arabia).

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The European Union disclosed a day ago that it will support Okonjo-Iweala and the South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee for the role of Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

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If Okonjo Iweala wins the final vote next month, she will become the first African woman to take the role of WTO DG, succeeding the current DG, Mr. Roberto Azevêdo.

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Economy & Politics

FRC to implement new IFRS 17

The FRC is set to implement International Financial Reporting Standard 17 (IFRS) on or before January 2023.

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The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria is expected to implement International Financial Reporting
Standard 17 (IFRS) on or before January 2023. This follows the amendment of the standard on June 25, 2020.

This was disclosed by the Head, Directorate of Accounting Standards Public Sector, FRC, Dr. Iheanyi Anyahara, during a Stakeholders interactive forum with FRC and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) webinar recently.

Nigeria adopted the IFRS as part of measures to improve transparency, reporting practices and full disclosures.

Having adopted the IFRS by the Council, Anyahara explained that all amendments to existing standards alongside the new standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) must be implemented by all reporting entities in Nigeria.

According to him, the Council is aware that implementing IFRS 17 commands a radical departure from current accounting standards and produces complex operational challenges.

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He said, “That is why we are organizing this programme and many more in collaboration with IASB to guide the users of the standards both in application and implementation.

“The Council will be organizing more events in financial reporting, auditing and corporate governance in order to sensitize the general public and lessen the knowledge gap in IFRS standards in Nigeria in collaboration with relevant agencies and organisations.”

Back story:

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Last July, Nairametrics reported when FRC released guidelines for reporting in compliance with the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance. (NCCG 2018).

In a statement posted on its website, the Council explained that it had been engaging with all regulators of sectors for the purpose of developing sectoral guidelines of corporate governance on specific requirements relevant to each sector, which are not covered under NCCG 2018.

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Coronavirus

China’s economy bounces back from COVID-19 slump, with a growth of 4.9% in Q3 2020

The Chinese economy has seen a growth of 4.9% between July and September, rising from the slump of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Hudson Mining Limited, China's economy bounces back from COVID-19 slump, with a growth of 4.9% in Q3 2020

The Chinese economy has continued to show stronger recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as its economy saw growth of 4.9% between July and September – Q3 2020, compared to the same quarter last year. However, the figure is lower than the 5.2% projected by most international economists.

China is now leading the charge for a global recovery based on its latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data. The near 5% growth is a far cry from the slump the Chinese economy suffered at the start of 2020 when the pandemic first emerged.

READ: COVID-19: How CBN policies helped prevent the collapse of the Nigerian economy – Oscar Onyema

READ: TiKTok to take legal actions against President Trump’s ban

China’s trade figures for September also pointed to a stronger recovery, with exports growing by 9.9% and imports growing by 13.2% compared to September last year.

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It appears to be a broadening recovery with the important services sector rebounding. Domestic tourists and travelers have probably helped the recovery continue by spending their money at home because global restrictions mean they can’t yet go abroad. With international travel severely restricted, millions of Chinese have been traveling and spending domestically.

READ: OECD reduces global economic decline to 4.5% from earlier forecast of 6% 

What you should know

  • While the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the year’s growth targets, China remains in a trade war with the US and it has relatively hurt its economy.
  • For the first three months of the year, China’s economy shrank by 6.8% when it saw nationwide shutdowns of factories and manufacturing plants. It was the first time China’s economy contracted since it started recording quarterly figures in 1992.
  • Over the previous two decades, China had seen an average economic growth rate of about 9%; although, the pace has gradually been slowing.
  • There were 637m trips in China over the eight-day holiday which generated revenue of 466.6bn RMB ($69.6bn, £53.8bn), according to data from its Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
  • Duty-free sales in the tropical island province of Hainan more than doubled from last year, soaring by nearly 150% according to the local customs data.

READ: China joins WHO vaccine programme as it fills huge gap left by United States

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What they are saying

According to Iris Pang, Chief China Economist for ING in Hong Kong, “I don’t think the headline number is bad. Job creation in China is quite stable which creates more consumption.”

According to Robin Brant, BBC China correspondent, “China’s economy continues to grow at rates unimaginable in other Covid-hit countries. Draconian lockdown measures to control the virus combined with some government stimulus appeared to have worked well. While the growth of 4.9% is slightly below some forecasts, industrial output – a good barometer of state-controlled activity, came in above expectations”

READ: Many Billionaires became richer by 27% during the COVID-19 pandemic – Swiss Bank UBS

READ: Access Bank gets regulatory approval to become a Holding Company

According to Yoshikiyo Shimamine, Chief Economist at the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo, “China’s economy remains on the recovery path, driven by a rebound in exports, but we cannot say it has completely shaken off the drag caused by the coronavirus.”

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Economy & Politics

WTO DG: Okonjo-Iweala gets the backing of 79 countries so far

Okonjo-Iweala has disclosed that she has gotten the endorsement of 79 out of the 164 countries that comprise the WTO.

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Ngozi Okonjo Iwela, WTO DG: Okonjo-Iweala gets the backing of 79 countries so far

Nigeria’s candidate for the vacant World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General post, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has expressed confidence in her quest to lead the crisis-ridden global trade organization after all of Africa backed her candidacy, vowing she would champion reform.

This disclosure was made by Nigeria’s former Finance Minister at a virtual press briefing on Friday, October 17, 2020, after 55-member African Union officially supported her over the sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.

READ: Okonjo-Iweala shares her vision with WTO members, as she pitches for DG post

Okonjo-Iweala during the virtual press briefing said, “I feel the wind behind my back,”

She said she was thrilled to learn that all African countries are supporting her. According to her, this is in addition to a group of Caribbean and Pacific countries, who had promised to back her, bringing the number of countries officially endorsing her candidacy to 79 out of the 164 countries that comprise the WTO.

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READ: Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers reveals breakdown of its massive N2.53 trillion AUM.

She was also optimistic of support from Latin American and felt she has gotten very good traction and good support in Asia so far.

She said the European Union was meanwhile due to announce its preference soon and feels quite confident that across the regions, they will be able to attract support.

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READ: WTO Director-General: Okonjo-Iweala, 4 others to know fate next week

The global trade body is set to be led by a woman for the first time whichever of the two candidates is successful in their bid to succeed Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as WTO director-general in August a year ahead of schedule.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, who served as Nigeria’s first female finance and foreign minister and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank, said it would be good if WTO could also boast its first African leader.

READ: COVID-19: World Bank warns Nigerians, others in Africa not to relax

She said, “If that person is African and a woman, I think that is great. Because… neither an African nor a woman has led the organization.’’

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The WTO at this time with the challenges it confronts needs a very competent Director General who is able to have the political reach and stature to be able to do reforms and deal at very high levels. It is not only having those skills, but having them all meet in one person at this juncture when the WTO needs that.

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READ: Update: WTO DG: President Buhari meets Okonjo-Iweala in Aso Rock

The WTO was already grappling with stalled trade talks and struggling to manage tensions including trade disputes between the United States and China, even before the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

The global trade body has also faced relentless attacks from the United States, which has crippled the WTO dispute settlement appeal system and threatened to leave the organization altogether.

Okonjo-Iweala said she had broad experience in championing reform and was the right person to help put the WTO back on track.

READ: $70 billion per annum will be needed to tackle pandemic induced poverty – World Bank

She said, “I am a reform candidate and I think the WTO needs the reform credentials and skills now.

It can be recalled that the initial pool of 8 candidates for the WTO’s top post, which has been reduced after 2 rounds of elimination processes, had included 3 Africans, and the AU had until now refrained from offering an official endorsement.

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The third and final round of consultations seeking to establish consensus around one candidate is due to begin next week and end on October 27, with the announcement due in early November.

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