M66

26 June 1995

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: Ambassador to Hungary

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced the appointment of Mr Patrick Robertson as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. Mr Robertson will replace Mr Donald Kingsmill, who has been Ambassador since July 1992.

Australia enjoys a friendly and constructive relationship with Hungary, based on developing commercial ties and underpinned by a migrant community of some 30,000.

Australia and Hungary are members of the Cairns Group, which continues to have an important role in promoting agricultural trade liberalisation.

While Hungary is currently one of Australia's smaller trading partners, its profile as a commercial partner has been elevated in the past few years with large Australian businesses entering the Hungarian market, including TNT, Pioneer International, Bondor Itex, Coca-Cola Amatil and Matrix Telecommunications. There are over thirty Australian joint ventures in Hungary.

Hungary is a beneficiary of the Australian Program for Training in Eurasia, which contributes to the economic reconstruction of former communist states in ways which encourage the development of commercial links with Australia.

Mr Robertson is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the Commonwealth Department of Labour and National Service in Brisbane in 1964, and the then Department of Trade and Industry in 1968. From 1983 to 1986 Mr Robertson served as Counsellor (Commercial) in Geneva (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). From 1989 to 1991 he was Counsellor (Commercial) in Washington, and from 1991 to 1993 he was Counsellor (Administration) and Consul-General in Washington. He is currently Deputy High Commissioner in Port Moresby.

Mr Robertson is expected to take up his appointment in November 1995.

CANBERRA