Jesús Seade Kuri is emerging as a candidate to lead the WTO

Jesús Seade Kuri will be proposed by Mexico as a candidate to head the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to sources consulted.

Currently, Jesús Seade Kuri is serving as Assistant Secretary for North America of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE).

The WTO will carry out the process of selecting its Director General while the crisis of Covid-19 and the crisis of the organization itself take place.

Roberto Azevêdo announced his resignation as WTO Director-General, effective as of August 31, 2020.

Seven years ago, Azevêdo was elected to that position after competing in the last round of the electoral process with the Mexican Herminio Blanco and in a context in which the Doha Round remained (still is) stuck.

Jesus Seade Kuri

The current Assistant Secretary for North America spent more than 20 years as a «top-level» trade and economic negotiator for Mexico and in positions in the three main world economic organizations (Deputy Director of the World Trade Organization -OMC-, Senior Advisor in the International Monetary Fund – IMF – and chief economist of the World Bank).

Jesús Seade Kuri was the main negotiator in Mexico in the creation of the WTO, where he led one of the most influential parties to the agreement. This process took place in parallel with the NAFTA negotiations with extensive cross-pollination between the two: NAFTA was often based on the multilateral process and the NAFTA and WTO negotiating teams of the three North American countries exchanged cards all the time. Later he was Deputy Director General of the emerging WTO.

His business obligations continued in senior positions at the IMF, where he oversaw all of the IMF’s involvement in trade policy and technical assistance on trade policy and practice (four years each).


Jesús Seade Kuri has been vice president of a university in Hong Kong since 2007, where he stood out for being the sole academic of the Trade Advisory Board, who would otherwise be entirely business, for seven years, assisting the Hong Kong Secretary of Commerce and his team in the formulation of commercial policies and marketing facilities.

A total of 46 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) were able to put in place a mechanism to ensure dispute settlement, as a measure to replace the Appellate Body.
Photo: WTO.

Jesús Seade Kuri has also been a member of the Faculty Committee of Global Asia Fellows and professor of the Chair of Economics and was vice-president of Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

According to the University of Hong Kong, he served as special internationalization advisor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen, which he would have joined in August 2017 as Professor of Economics and Associate Vice President of Global Affairs.

He has a degree in Chemical Engineering (Summa Cum Laude) from UNAM and a PhD in Economics from the University of Oxford.

Jesús Seade Kuri taught at the University of Warwick, in the United Kingdom, where he was the youngest professor of Economics in history and later served as Principal Economist at the World Bank (Departments of Public Economics and Brazil); Ambassador of Mexico to the GATT and Chief Negotiator of the Uruguay Round of Negotiations.

He is currently Professor Emeritus at Hong Kong Lingnan University. He has worked at the Colegio de México.


Azevêdo managed to promote the Trade Facilitation Agreement (AFC), which could reduce the costs of international trade to a range of 12.5% ​​and 17.5% worldwide, according to estimates by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Jesús Seade Kuri
Photo: SE. Seade in negotiations to update NAFTA on one of his visits to Washington.

Meanwhile, according to calculations by the WTO itself, the global export earnings of the total implementation of the AFC could vary from 750,000 million dollars to more than 3.6 billion dollars per year and, for the period 2015-2030, could increase growth. of world exports by 2.7% annually and generate a rise in world GDP of more than 0.5% annually.



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