Tarek Sultan, Vice Chairman, Agility, will join a new 10-member business advisory group of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to share the views of businesses on trade and regulation.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, WTO said she created the group and a second civil society advisory group to strengthen her engagement with business and civil society.

“I have observed a strong desire to share perspectives on the impact of trade and trade rules on their constituents. By establishing the advisory groups, I aim to facilitate such exchanges on a more regular basis,” says Okonjo-Iweala.

The WTO, based in Geneva, has 164 member-countries that account for 98 percent of global trade. The organisation acts as a forum for multilateral trade negotiations, sets trade rules, provides technical assistance for developing countries, and handles trade disputes.

Sultan has been a forceful voice for free trade at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and leading business organisations. He has urged the WTO and member-countries to take steps to make trade fairer and more open for small businesses, women-led businesses, and emerging markets countries. In addition, he has called for faster digitisation of customs and trade, and has criticised the wave of non-tariff trade barriers erected by various countries in recent years.

“I’m honoured to join the WTO business advisory group and grateful for the chance to share my perspective with Director-General Okonjo-Iweala,” says Sultan. “Trade is essential to global growth and prosperity. In my view, we must act now to expand trade and ensure that its benefits are broadly shared and used to build a fairer, cleaner, safer world.”

In addition to Sultan, other members of the WTO business advisory group are:

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Founder and Chairman, Coronation Capital

Thomas Cueni, Director General, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

John Denton, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce

Prasoon Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO, BillionBricks

Josie Morris, Managing Director, WoolCool

Paul Polman, Business leader, campaigner, co-author of “Net Positive”

José Viñals, Group Chairman, Standard Chartered

Diane Wang, Founder, Chairperson, CEO of DHgate Group; and

Rosa Whitaker, President and CEO, The Whitaker Group

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