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Indian gets key post at WTO

July 29, 2005 19:43 IST
WTO's new director general Pascal Lamy, who assumes office on September 1, on Friday selected four deputies including an Indian, Harsha Vardhana Singh, presently secretary of telecom regulator TRAI.

Lamy, who made the announcement in the on-going WTO General Council meeting in Geneva, said the other three deputy director generals are Alejandro Jara of Chile, Valentine Rugwabiza of Rwanda and Rufus Yerxa of the US.

The four deputy director generals would take over on October 1 this year, a WTO release said.  The new WTO director general, who was earlier European Union Trade Commissioner, is an ardent champion of free trade and rule-based multilateral trading system.

Singh, who is also the principal advisor of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, is involved in all policy initiatives of TRAI.

He is responsible for all interactions of TRAI with national and international agencies, regulatory bodies, and the relevant bodies in the Indian Parliament. Singh has also served as a counsellor to the office of the director general on GATT/WTO Secretariat during 1996-97.

Of the other three deputies, Alejandro Jara is currently Chile's ambassador to WTO since 2000.

Rugwabiza, Rwanda's Ambassador to the WTO since 2002, is the first woman ever appointed as a deputy director-general while Yerxa has served the last three years as deputy director-general to present director general Supachai Panitchpakdi.

"This is a very strong team to lead the WTO Secretariat into a crucial stage in Doha Development Agenda talks. I look forward to working with my team and with member governments in the months and years to come," Lamy said.

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