Groser mulls tilt at WTO job

KATE CHAPMAN IN RAROTONGA
Last updated 08:25 30/08/2012
Tim Groser
REUTERS
TRADE MINISTER: Tim Groser.

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Trade Minister Tim Groser has to decide whether he wants to throw his hat into the ring for the director general role at the World Trade Organisation, John Key says.

The prime minister said a number of countries had expressed an interest in Groser applying for the position and New Zealand would support him if he did."That is obviously a big call and a big step."

Groser would need to consider it.

"If that happened and he decided to put his name in the ring then the New Zealand Government would give him 100 per cent support."

He would be a "magnificent" leader of the WTO, Key said, but added it was a tough battle for the top job.

"It's not easy to get over the line and it would be challenging but there certainly is a number of countries internationally that are interested in supporting Tim Groser and have approached him."

Key said he spoke to Groser about it some months ago.

The director general will be appointed next year.

Former prime minister Mike Moore held the WTO top job during the 1990s after extensive lobbying by the Government at the time.

The WTO sets world trade rules and has been trying for some years to further liberalise agricultural trade but has made little progress.

If Groser is successful in getting the job a vacancy would be created in Parliament which would be filled by appointing the next person on National's list.

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