India on Thursday appointed Brajendra Navnit, a 1999 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre as India's new ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Navnit who was till recently served as a joint secretary in the prime minister's office will replace the current ambassador JS Deepak in Geneva for a period of three years at a time the multilateral trade body is facing an existential crisis.
The director general of WTO Roberto Azevedo has resigned from his post one year before his tenure ends. The US under president Donald Trump has refused to renew appointments of the judges to the appellate body, the supreme court of WTO, opposing the fundamental principles of the WTO such as diffential treatment for developing countries, thus making the dispute settlement mechanism defunct.
WTO has projected global merchandise trade to drop between 13% and 32% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. India's merchandise exports plunged 60.3% in April and imports fell 58.7% as the country imposed a nationwide lockdown.
The appointments committee of the cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi also appointed Rajeev Tapno, a 1996 batch Gujarat carde IAS officer, as the senior adviser to the executive director at the World Bank for a period of three years.