LATCAM is honored to host a webinar with Roberto Azevêdo, Executive Vice-President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of PepsiCo and former Director General of the WTO, with the objective to assess the state of the multilateral trade system by looking at the challenges and perspectives for Latin America.
Roberto Azevêdo has led the WTO over the past seven years and has a deep knowledge of the importance of global trade for sustainable development and inclusive growth as well as the difficulties to reform multilateral trade rules, further liberalize trade and engage in new fields.
Trade in goods and services has reached a high level benefiting from liberalization under GATT and then the WTO, and also from a large number of regional trade agreements. Like a climber getting closer to a summit, since the beginning of the 21st Century, trade negotiations at the multilateral level have faced significant difficulties to achieve results, although summits were well in sight. Issues are quite clear. The challenge is how to reach comprehensive agreements with a large group of members defending positions based on significantly divergent political and economic interests.
Roberto Azevêdo is Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at PepsiCo. PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $67 billion in net revenue in 2019, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, PepsiCola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
In his role, Azevêdo oversees Public Policy and Government Affairs, Communications, and The PepsiCo Foundation, while also working closely with the Sustainability team. His areas of focus include solidifying PepsiCo’s engagement with national and international governments, regulators, international organizations, and non-governmental stakeholders, all of which is informed by his political skills and technical knowledge of the complex social, political, and regulatory environments impacting companies like PepsiCo. He assumed the role in September 2020.
Prior to joining PepsiCo, Azevêdo worked as a career diplomat, most recently serving as Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2013. During his tenure, the WTO expanded its membership with the inclusion of half a dozen new members and worked to improve the service the WTO provided to members. He also delivered the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, and decisions on food security, in addition to eliminating agricultural export subsidies, and enabling more goods and services exports from least developed countries. Under his tenure, new and creative platforms allowed the launching of negotiations on e-commerce, facilitation of investments and domestic regulation of services. Before that, he was Brazil’s Ambassador to the WTO, and he has held several posts in the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, including roles overseeing Economic and Technological Affairs and Dispute Settlement, where he was Brazil’s chief litigator in WTO disputes. He first joined the Brazilian Foreign Service in 1984.
Azevêdo graduated from the University of Brasilia with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a degree on diplomacy from the ‘Instituto Rio Branco’, the graduate school run by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations. He and his wife have two daughters and five granddaughters. Azevêdo is based in Purchase, N.Y.
Dr. Philippe G. Nell
Philippe G. Nell is University Lecturer on trade, investment, integration policy and negotiating techniques, and Honorary Ambassador of LATCAM. Until October 2019, he was Deputy Assistant State Secretary for Bilateral Economic Relations and Head of the Americas Unit at the Swiss Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. He held the diplomatic title of Minister. Previously, he dealt with WTO matters (1999-2004) in charge i.a. of government procurement, investment and China’s accession to the WTO; rules of origin, customs issues and free trade areas (1992-1999), and the European Economic Area Agreement Negotiations (1988-1992).
Mr. Nell holds a Ph. D from the Graduate School of International Studies of the University of Denver and Masters from the Universities of Fribourg, Carleton (Ottawa) and Denver. He is Privat Docent at the University of Fribourg where he dispenses courses as well as at Universities in Latin America.
He has published numerous articles on trade and integration policy, and a book on Swiss-EU negotiations for the European Economic Area. In September 2020, he released a book on “Strategy with China: Swiss Cooperation or U.S. Confrontation. The Successful Swiss Path with a Free Trade Agreement” available at the Foundation Jean Monnet for Europe in Lausanne.
This webinar is generously supported by
creating rural prosperity
To view the webinar recording, please click on the following LINK