SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- The head of the World Trade Organization will visit Seoul this week to discuss changing global trade circumstances and ways to recover the multilateral trading system amid the intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry, South Korea's industry ministry said Sunday.
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will arrive in Seoul on Monday for a three-day stay, during which she will highlight the importance of "re-globalization" and the recovery of the multilateral trading system, a key mechanism behind South Korea's economic growth, through the reform of her organization and active roles by South Korea and major member nations, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
It will be the first visit to South Korea by the WTO's top official since 2014.
Okonjo-Iweala is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo for talks on fast-changing global economic and trade situations, and roles of the WTO and South Korea to restore the multilateral trading system, which has been threatened by great competition between the United States and China, deepening geopolitical concerns amid the Ukraine-Russian war and the subsequent protectionism.
Han is expected to ask for the WTO's leading role in restoring the global order to promote international trade and ensure stable global supply chains.
The WTO chief also plans to meet with Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun, Foreign Minister Park Jin and Bank of Korea Gov. Rhee Chang-yong.
She will deliver a lecture and have a discussion session with experts on the WTO principles. She also plans to visit internet portal giant Naver Corp. to meet with young business persons in the digital sector to discuss the future of digital and service trade, the ministry said.
"South Korea will use her visit as a chance to express our strong support for the recovery of the rules-based multilateral trading system. Her visit is also expected to boost South Korea's roles and status within the organization," the ministry said in a release.
Okonjo-Iweala is the seventh director-general of the WTO. She took office in March 2021, becoming the first woman and the first African to serve in the post. Her term of office will end in August 2025, according to her office.
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