WELLINGTON, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser on Monday began a five-day tour of Pacific island nations to push his campaign for the World Trade Organization's (WTO) top job.
Groser would visit Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to discuss his candidature for role of WTO director-general as well as trade issues.
"This visit will be an opportunity to meet my counterparts in these five nations and discuss New Zealand's trade and economic relationship with them," Groser said in a statement.
"I look forward to discussing how we can support them to advance their respective economic growth prospects and that of the region."
This year is vital for the WTO, which was scheduled to meeting at ministerial level in Bali, Indonesia, in December, and the ability to meet the concerns of Pacific nations would be important for whether the WTO's agenda could be moved forward.
"With that in mind, I am expecting to discuss my candidature for WTO director-general role and I will be formally seeking their support for this role," Groser said.
Groser is one of nine candidates seeking to succeed WTO director-general Pascal Lamy, whose term expires on Aug. 31.