MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
28 September 1999
Diplomatic Appointment : Consul-General in Guangzhou
I have today announced the appointment of Mr John Courtney as Australia's Consul-General in Guangzhou.
Mr Courtney will replace Ms Zena Armstrong who has been Consul-General since July 1996.
Australia's relationship with China is one of our most important, based on shared political, security and economic interests, as well as on rapidly growing commercial and people-to-people links.
Bilateral trade and economic ties continue to expand. Two-way trade passed the $10 billion mark in 1998-99, with Australian exports diversifying increasingly into higher value-added manufactures and services.
The Consulate-General in Guangzhou plays an important role in pursuing Australia's interests in southern China, particularly in the consular and economic areas. Guangdong Province is one of China's economic powerhouses and a major gateway for trade and investment. With a population of about 70 million, it produces about 40 per cent of China's exports. It offers considerable trade and investment opportunities for Australian business.
Mr Courtney is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, currently Director of the China General and Mongolia Section. After joining the Department in 1974, he served in Jeddah (1976-79) and had a six-month secondment to the New Zealand MFA in 1979. He was Second/First Secretary in Kuala Lumpur (1982-85), and later worked in Indo-China Section (1986-87). Mr Courtney was Counsellor in Beijing (1991-94), Director of Policy Planning Section (1995) and Director, Speechwriting Section (1996).
Mr Courtney was born in Perth in 1949 and holds an Arts/Law degree from the University of Western Australia. He will be accompanied by his wife, Jenny.
He is expected to take up his appointment in December 1999.
Minister - Innes Willox 02 6277 7500
Department - Mark Croxford 02 6261 1555
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