Trade Minister Tim Groser has received the government's nod to become the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) next director-general.
WTO members need to agree on a replacement for director-general Pascal Lamy by the end of May next year, with nominations set to close at the end of this month.
Prime Minister John Key confirmed on Friday that Mr Groser has been nominated, and has the government's blessing.
"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," Mr Key said.
"Mr Groser's work within the [former General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] and the WTO over several rounds of trade negotiations has provided him with a deep understanding of the importance of the multilateral trading system."
Mr Groser said he sees the WTO as being of "fundamental importance to global economic development and prosperity", and the next few years will be critical for the organisation.