7 September 1995

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: Ambassador to Venezuela

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced the appointment of Mr Roger Frankel as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Venezuela, with non-resident accreditation to the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Ecuador.

Mr Frankel will replace Dr Dominique de Stoop, who has been Ambassador since July 1991.

Bilateral relations with Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador show good potential for development. A number of promising areas for investment, trade, and cooperation in scientific matters are being pursued by Australian interests, already leading to the development of important joint ventures and commercial transactions. The process of regional integration and gradual opening of the three countries' economies should facilitate the further broadening of commercial links.

Mr Frankel is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1974 and has served in Buenos Aires and Brasilia, where he was ChargÈ d'Affaires for seven months in 1985. He speaks both Spanish and Portuguese fluently. He has also served in Brussels and his last posting was as Counsellor in Paris.

For the last two years Mr Frankel has worked as Convenor for the National Trade and Investment Outlook Conference - the largest trade and investment event held in Australia. For most of his periods of service in Australia, Mr Frankel has worked in the economic areas of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mr Frankel is expected to take up his appointment in January 1996.