Former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been named as one of two finalists for the top job at the World Trade Organization.
That announcement came on Thursday and sees the economist and development expert up against South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee for director general.
"We need an institution that can promote a rules-based system."
Both received backing from the 27 countries of the European Union this week in a second round of selection,
that saw Kenyan sports minister Amina Mohamed, Saudi royal court advisor Mohammad al-Tuwaijri and former UK international trade minister Liam Fox eliminated from the running.
The reduction of the field from five to two means that the 164-member trade body will be led by a woman for the first time.
The WTO is looking for a new director-general to replace Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down a year earlier than expected at the end of August.
It aims to find a successor by early November.