Craig ChittickToday I announce the appointment of Mr Craig Chittick OAM as Australia's next Ambassador to Vietnam.

Australia’s relationship with Vietnam is one of our most significant in South East Asia and is underpinned by strong people-to-people links. Over 220,000 Australians were born in Vietnam, making the Vietnamese community our fifth largest migrant group.

Vietnam is also our third largest source of international students and in 2015-16 around 400 Australians will study in Vietnam under the New Colombo Plan.

Bilateral trade between our countries is flourishing and has grown at an average of 12 per cent per year over the last five years. Vietnam is Australia’s 14th largest trading partner, with two-way trade of goods and services valued at $10.2 billion in 2014-15. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will open up further opportunities for two-way investment.

We are also enhancing our cooperation on defence, strategic and security issues; development assistance; human rights; and law enforcement.

Mr Chittick is a senior career officer with DFAT and is currently First Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Mainland and Regional Division. His previous roles include Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues; Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Investment and Services Branch; Assistant Secretary, United States Branch; and Director, Indonesia Section. He has previously served overseas in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

Mr Chittick holds a Master of Arts (International Relations) from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the University of Sydney.

I thank outgoing Ambassador Hugh Borrowman for his contribution in advancing Australia’s interests in Vietnam since 2012.

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