New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser faces stiff competition for the position of director-general at the World Trade Organisation.
Prime Minister John Key nominated Mr Groser for the job last month.
Nominations closed on 31 December with nine people vying to replace Pascal Lamy of France, who steps down in September.
The governments of Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico and South Korea have also nominated candidates.
Trade sources say although Mr Groser is well-qualified, he faces an uphill battle because he is from a developed country and a candidate from a developing country is overdue to take the job in world trade.