Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced the appointment of Mr Chris Gale as the new Chairman of the Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR).
Mr Gale replaces Mr David Luboff who has served as Chairman since July 2010.
Mr Gale has been a member of the Council's Board since August 2012 and will chair the next COALAR Board meeting on 30 May 2013 in Sydney. He is the Managing Director of Latin Resources, a Perth-based iron and mineral sands focused exploration and development company.
Mr Gale has first-hand knowledge of the growing economic integration between Australia and Latin America, and its transition from a base of mining and minerals into broader services sectors.
Senator Carr acknowledged Mr Luboff's dedication and leadership to Australia's relations with Latin America, and wished him every success in his relocation to Singapore.
COALAR was established by the Australian Government in 2001 to contribute to the development of Australia's relations across Latin America. It supports initiatives across the areas of business, education, tourism, sustainability and cultural promotion.
Australia's merchandise trade with Latin America is worth approximately $7.6 billion a year. Known Australian investment in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico alone reached $24 billion in 2012, mostly in the mining and energy sectors. Over 17,000 students from Latin America are currently studying in Australia.
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