Top Quotes from Roberto Azevedo

We cannot look backwards. What we have to do is raise our heads, look forward, roll up our sleeves and work.

Roberto Azevedo

At the WTO, it’s never a general surgery. It’s always a very specific, clinical, precise surgery – and you can’t miss the target. If you miss the target, you kill the patient. It’s as simple as that.

Roberto Azevedo

I think educational systems have to be more nimble, have to be more adapted to today’s realities where students can go in different directions and professionalize even faster. Constant retraining and reskilling and upskilling, whatever you want to call it, of the workforce.

Roberto Azevedo

New technologies, innovative management, higher productivity, displacements in the labour market, increased migration – these are all provoking major economic, social, and political shifts. These shifts need to be better understood if we are to address them in a positive and effective manner.

Roberto Azevedo

I think what helps me is that delegations of all sizes – the small, the medium, the large, the largest – they all have seen me in action. They all have seen me unlocking blockages, unlocking impasses for several years now, and they all know that… I can bring a constructive mood to the table.

Roberto Azevedo

Each blockage is a blockage. Each impasse is an impasse. You have to find a solution; there is no recipe that fits each one of them.

Roberto Azevedo

Trade liberalization can be contagious, and the opening of markets regionally can spark progress multilaterally as well.

Roberto Azevedo

In an era of global value chains, worldwide sourcing and the never-ending search for new markets, we must be careful to avoid the proliferation of regional standards. A multilateral approach holds wider benefits for more actors.

Roberto Azevedo

We have to learn how to work within the limits that are possible, not what is desirable.

Roberto Azevedo

My job is to prioritize multi-lateralism, and that of course interests Brazil, which is a global player. I’m representing 159 members, and one of them happens to be Brazil.

Roberto Azevedo

Trade is not the cause for unemployment. In fact, the biggest drivers for unemployment are innovation and increased productivity. It has nothing to do with trade.

Roberto Azevedo

One thinks that one is winning when we slap tariffs or introduce barriers to imports from another country, and we think we win. But you lose when you export because the other countries are going to raise tariffs as well. They’re going to introduce barriers as well. So you win with one hand and you lose with the other.

Roberto Azevedo

I believe that trade is essential for economic growth and development around the world, but I also believe that trade is imperfect.

Roberto Azevedo

Just having the economy picking up doesn’t mean that we will get through or that we will turn the chapter on many of the problems that we see ahead of us.

Roberto Azevedo

The best thing we can do to secure the future of the global system, trading system, is to redouble the efforts to improve the system, to reform the system.

Roberto Azevedo

Making strong infrastructural reforms, particularly in the area of social security, that’s not an appealing prospect for any country or for any political structure. But that’s a reality.

Roberto Azevedo

In most negotiations, you can’t attribute success or failure in negotiations to one side.

Roberto Azevedo

It’s not compatible to expect multilateralism to work and, at the same time, to expect to walk out with everything you wanted. This is a recipe for failure. If we prize the system, we have to come knowing that we will need to make compromises. Sometimes painful compromises.

Roberto Azevedo