Today I announce the appointment of Mr Bruce Davis as Australia's next High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

As well as our strong historical ties, Australia and Papua New Guinea share a close economic and strategic partnership. Two-way trade between our countries is worth $6.8 billion. We have close defence and police ties, reflecting our shared regional security interests.

Under our aid partnership with the Papua New Guinea Government, Australia will invest $554.5 million in 2015-16 in health, education, transport, law and justice, women’s empowerment and aid for trade. As the country’s largest donor, our aid investments in Papua New Guinea are targeted to reduce poverty and promote economic growth.

Australia and Papua New Guinea work closely together through the Pacific Islands Forum, APEC and the United Nations.

Until recently, Mr Davis was Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank.  He has also served overseas as Australian Ambassador to Ireland and as Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.  Mr Davis was Director-General of the then Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) from 1999 until 2009.

Mr Davis holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Queensland.  He received the Public Service Medal in 2004 and became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009 for service to international relations through leadership of AusAID and the development and reform of Australia’s overseas aid programs.

I thank former High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Deborah Stokes, for her contribution in advancing Australia’s interests in Papua New Guinea since 2012.

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