New Zealand High Commission Port Vila, Vanuatu

Vanuatu confirms support for Groser for WTO Director General

PM Kilman and Minister Groser

Hon Tim Groser, the New Zealand Minister of Trade and a candidate for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), met today with Prime Minister Sato Kilman and Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini. They discussed a range of regional and multilateral trade issues.

Minister Groser expressed his thanks to the Vanuatu Government for its support for his candidacy for the WTO Director General position. Prime Minister Kilman and Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini noted Vanuatu's wish to support a candidate who understands the needs and challenges of Pacific Island Countries and is committed to advancing Pacific trade and broader development interests, in addition to being technically and politically well-qualified for the role.

Prime Minister Kilman, Deputy Prime Minister Lini and Minister Groser discussed how the WTO could better support the interests of Pacific Island Countries in the WTO. They discussed Vanuatu's efforts to implement its WTO commitments, following its recent accession, and its interest in receiving further support from the WTO Secretariat in this regard.

Minister Groser confirmed his commitment to ensuring that the WTO assists its members in accessing the benefits of membership. As Director General, he said, he would look at how the WTO's mechanisms can be better aligned with developing countries' needs and how the organisation can work more closely with other international institutions to find practical ways of providing technical assistance to, and building capacity for, those members who most need it.

Prime Minister Kilman, Deputy Prime Minister Lini and Minister Groser also discussed constructively other trade and broader development issues, including the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) and PACER-Plus.

Minister Groser travelled to Vanuatu as part of a wider visit to the Pacific.

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