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Roberto Azevedo, Brazil’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization since 2008, will be the first representative from the emerging markets to lead the international body since 1995.

Azevedo beat Herminio Blanco, Mexico’s former trade minister widely reported to be backed by the United States and the European Union, on Tuesday to become the new director-general for the WTO. He will succeed France’s Pascal Lamy, who is expected to step down on Aug 31.

Azevedo is the first Latin American and the first diplomat from the BRICS bloc, which comprises Brazil,...

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