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Cormann enters final leg of race for OECD

Former finance minister Mathias Cormann is the last non-European nation candidate in the race for the top job of a powerful global economic body.

Mr Cormann is one of five candidates left in contention for the role of secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Candidates from Estonia and Canada withdrew from the race this week, leaving Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Greece in the running.

American candidate Chris Liddell, a former deputy chief of staff to Donald Trump, withdrew on January 19.

Further rounds of consultation will be undertaken in February.

The process is due to be completed in March with the five-year term starting on June 1.

Mr Cormann, a former senator for Western Australia, was born in Belgium and migrated to Australia in 1996.

His written pitch states he would bring a distinctive perspective to the secretary-general role, having spent half of his life in Europe and half in the Asia-Pacific.

“His experience gives him rare insights into the cultures, economic strengths and political dynamics of both regions.”

Taxpayers have funded a RAAF jet for him to travel the world seeking support for his candidacy.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is also supporting him, setting up a task force consisting of 8.5 temporary dedicated staff and providing him with an adviser.

The OECD is an international organisation which shapes global policies that foster prosperity, equality and opportunity.

There is bipartisan support for the bid, with Labor saying there is a national interest in having Australians in international institutions.

However, the Greens have been lobbying OECD members to block Mr Cormann’s bid because of Australia’s inaction on climate change.

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