President Moon Jae-in held telephone conversations with two more state leaders today in a bid to support Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee, who has advanced to the final round in the election for the World Trade Organization’s next Director-General. President Moon’s schedule has been tightly filled in an all-out effort for the election of Minister Yoo. During the first three days of this week alone, he has had phone calls with six state leaders. Another two phone calls on this matter are planned for tomorrow as well.
President Moon spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of the Kingdom of Denmark from 3:00 p.m. and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India from 4:30 p.m. today. The President said, “Regardless of one’s nationality, a candidate for the next WTO Director-General must be capable, sincerely support multilateralism and have political influence.” He went on to say, “Korea’s Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee is a well-rounded candidate who possesses expertise in the trade sector, political leadership and a network that she established as an incumbent trade minister.” President Moon requested the Danish Prime Minister’s support, calling Minister Yoo the most qualified candidate to coordinate the sharply divergent interests of the advanced and developing nations and successfully carry out reform of the WTO.
In separate responses, both Prime Ministers congratulated President Moon on Minister Yoo’s having advanced to the final round and wished her success going forward, noting her outstanding capabilities, vision for reforming the WTO and extensive experience in the trade sector.
In his telephone conversation with Prime Minister Frederiksen, President Moon asked Denmark, host of the 1st P4G Summit and a model for environmental protection, for its attention and cooperation in the 2nd P4G Summit to be held in Seoul. In reply, the Prime Minister said her country would actively support the success of next year’s summit with increased interest.
President Moon and Prime Minister Modi agreed that Korea and India, special strategic partners, should further strengthen the two countries’ cooperative partnership not only in response to COVID-19 but also in the post-COVID-19 era. In particular, Prime Minister Modi delivered a congratulatory message to President Moon and the Korean people while praising Korea’s successful response to COVID-19, even as other countries around the world continue to struggle with the outbreak.
Among the countries whose leaders had phone conversations with President Moon today, India is a key member of both a WTO group of Asian developing countries (31 nations, including Mongolia, Indonesia and the Philippines) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (eight countries, including Bangladesh and Pakistan). Consequently, support for Minister Yoo is expected to expand among developing countries in Asia and South Asian nations.