GENEVA - Herminio Blanco
, Mexico's chief negotiator in the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Uruguay Round, said here last week that his
success in those negotiations show that he
could be a successful director-general of the World Trade Organization
Blanco, who also served as Mexico's minister of trade and industry, told reporters it is vital for the WTO to show progress in the long stalled Doha Round of negotiations when the trade ministers of the member countries meet in Bali in December.
"Having a failure in Bali would be a game changer for the WTO
The December meeting, he
added, "must send a message to the world that things can be done in Geneva."
could achieve success because "conditions can change" and that he
has the "desire" and "conviction" to do the job.
The Doha package in Bali "might not be the perfect solution," he
said, but a "substantive package" could be approved.
The WTO's greatest success in recent years has been opposing protectionism, he
noted that members have established "new and ever more imaginative behind-the-border protectionist measures.
If the protectionist measures do not subside and the WTO
does not implement enforceable rules, the dispute settlement mechanism will become "overburdened," he
said in his
presentation to the General Council
Asked about the role of the emerging economies in what are still classified as developing countries, Blanco
in that group and that a "solution" to the impasse will "require these countries to do more than the rest of the developing countries."
said the issue of exchange rates should be left up to the International Monetary Fund
Bringing the topic into the WTO
"would be highly divisive," he
Asked whether he
will gain the support of the United States in his
campaign to become director-general, Blanco
said that he
has "met with many countries and will meet with many countries."
In discussing his
negotiating skills with reporters, Blanco
noted that NAFTA became the model for the U.S. agreements with Central America and Chile, that under his
leadership Mexico reached the first free trade agreement with the European Union
and also reached agreements with other countries.
Reaching agreement with small countries requires "creativeness," he
"The director-general is not a negotiator but should be an effective bridge-builder," he
told the General Council
"Ten FTA with 34 countries guarantee that I am a bridge-builder."
post-government experience in the private sector, he
said, has given him "a different vantage point" on "new modes of production and the importance of services."
presentation to the WTO General Council
played a key role in the design and implementation of the deep structural changes that have made of Mexico
a more open and competitive economy.
designed and implemented a far-reaching reform program to eliminate red tape, enhance efficiency and increase transparency in Mexico's
public sector, and that he
also implemented a managerial re-engineering of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
said that in his
12 years of experience in the private sector, he
has advised national and local governments, corporations and international organizations on trade policy and international economic strategic matters.
company, IQOM Inteligencia Comercia, is the only international trade service in Mexico
and Latin America that provides an online day-by-day analysis of governmental trade measures affecting corporations doing business in the region.
said, has helped the Mexican government in the implementation of special software applications to promote the participation of small and medium enterprises in international trade.
Blanco received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1978 and a bachelor's degree in economics from Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in 1971.
He was an assistant professor at Rice University in Houston from 1980 to 1985, and has also taught in Mexico.