The World Trade Organisation is facing one of the biggest challenges in its history as global recession looms, according to director-general designate Supachai Panitchpakdi. At the 12th World Productivity Congress in Hong Kong last night, Mr Supachai said even the world's largest economy - the United States - was entering recession with economic growth contracting in the third quarter. The wind of recession was sweeping Asia, with Singapore facing possibly its worst economic turmoil and Hong Kong expected to suffer to a lesser extent. However, he believed China's strong economic growth would be propelled further by its entry into the WTO. He estimated China's share of international trade would double to 10 per cent in the next five to 10 years. Mr Supachai, a former deputy prime minister of Thailand, also spoke yesterday in Singapore before arriving in Hong Kong. The congress began in Hong Kong yesterday and continues today and tomorrow before moving to Beijing for another two days. It is held every two years with a range of speakers who gather to discuss strategies to make organisations and businesses more efficient. Former US president George Bush will be speaking tomorrow.