GENEVA, Aug. 17 -- Yi Xiaozhun, China's permanent representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO), was appointed Saturday as deputy director-general of the WTO.
Yi has worked on international trade issues since the 1980s. He was China's vice minister of commerce before taking office in Geneva as China's permanent representative to the organization in 2011.
Besides Yi, the WTO's director-general elect Roberto Azevedo also named Germany's Karl-Ernst Brauner, Nigeria's Yonov Frederick Agah and the United States' David Shark as deputy director-generals.
Azevedo said that the deputies had been selected because of their outstanding commitment to the multilateral trading system and their extensive experience on WTO issues over many years.
They are expected to work directly with the director-general to advance the interests of the organization, including the preparations for the ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali.
"The specific skills and experience of these deputies will be immensely valuable to advancing the effective and efficient functioning of the WTO," said Azevedo.
The new director-general will begin his term on Sept. 1 and his deputies on Oct. 1.