(Cheong Wa Dae)
President Moon Jae-in had phone talks with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday mainly as part of efforts to broaden international support for South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee's candidacy to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In the conversation that lasted around 25 minutes, Moon and Trudeau exchanged opinions on issues of mutual concern, which include the WTO chief race, cooperation in the response to the new coronavirus and partnerships on the global stage, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.
Moon was quoted as saying that Yoo is a candidate with expertise on trade affairs and related networks she has established as a sitting trade minister, as well as political leadership.
Moon added that she is suitable for the role to adjust the interests of advanced nations and developing ones and successfully carry out the reform of the WTO. Yoo, who has handled Seoul's bilateral and multilateral trade policy since 1996, is well versed in WTO-related affairs.
Both South Korea and Canada are members of the global body's Ottawa Group that supports reform to address challenges with an emphasis on the multilateral trading system.
The prime minister said he "highly values" Yoo's experience and capability in connection with the trade sector, Kang said.
The leaders agreed that their countries will continue close communication and cooperation in such multilateral forums as the WTO and the OECD as strategic partners with similar views on many global issues.
Moon expressed hope that the COVID-19 situation in Canada will be stabilized at an early date.
Yoo is in the home stretch of a competition with former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the first female director general of the WTO.
The 27 members of the European Union reportedly agreed to support the Nigerian economist. Government officials here, however, said Yoo still has a chance of winning the race. (Yonhap)