Saudi Arabia nominates ex-minister Al-Tuwaijri for WTO leadership

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday nominated Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri; ex-minister of economy and planning as a candidate for the post of Director-General at the World Trade Organization on the last day of the nomination.

The current WTO chief Roberto Azevêdo; is stepping down on Aug. 31 this year. Shortly after the nomination period closes; candidates will be invited to meet with members at a special WTO’s General Council meeting; present their views and take questions from the members.

Apart from Al-Tuwaijri, who is an adviser at the royal court, six other candidates are so far in the running; namely from Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Moldova, Nigeria and South Korea.

Playing a role

In its memorandum to the WTO; Saudi Arabia’s mission to the WTO affirmed the great belief the Kingdom places in the multilateral trading system and the organization’s vital role in it.

The mission also stressed that Saudi Arabia realizes the importance of the leading role being played by the WTO in drafting and enforcing international trading rules; in addition to caring and developing the economy and global trade.

New trading sysytem


The nomination of Al-Tuwaijri comes at a stage when the world is witnessing major changes in the trading system.

s the Kingdom holds its responsibilities in light of its current presidency of G20 Summit; and extends its continued support to international efforts;this is in order to advance the WTO and formulate a strategic vision for the G20 member states so as to enhance the important role of trade; in driving economic growth and achieving sustainable development.

Al-Tuwaijri has a proven record of experience. He obtained a Master’s degree with honors in Business Administration from King Saud University in 1998 and held many of the leadership positions.

This enabled him to stand for the post.

Important posts


He has worked efficiently and competently most notably in his position as a minister of economy and planning; as well as a member of the Cabinet and the Council of Economic and Development Affairs from 2017 to 2020.

He held the post of deputy minister of economy and planning and the secretary-general of the finance committee at royal court from 2016 to 2017; in addition to assuming the position as a deputy chairman of the board of directors of the National Development Fund and chairman of the National Transformation Program.


He worked as the deputy chairman and the CEO of HSBC Bank Middle East and North Africa from 2014 to 2016; regional head of banking Services at HSBC Middle East and North Africa from 2010 to 2014. He hold the post of the CEO of J.P. Morgan Saudi Arabia from 2007 to 2010.