Prime Minister John Key has confirmed the Government's nomination of Trade Minister Tim Groser for the job of World Trade Organisation director general.
Key said Groser's name had been put forward to replace Pascal Lamy, whose successor must be agreed by the end of May.
The WTO decides the rules for world trade.
"Given Tim Groser's experience in trade, and the blend of both technical and political skills he brings to the table, I believe he is well-placed to advance the complex and challenging issues facing the WTO," Key said.
"The organisation has a vital part to play in the global economy recovery."
Former Labour Prime Minister Mike Moore is the only New Zealander to have held the position previously.