10 November 1997


I have today announced the appointment of Mr Ted Delofski as Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Australia and the Netherlands share a longstanding and harmonious relationship, including a common outlook on many important international issues and substantial people-to-people and commercial links.

The Netherlands is the fourth largest source of direct investment in Australia, second among the European Union countries. There are more than 70 major Dutch businesses established in Australia and the commercial relationship brings many benefits, not least of all jobs for Australians.

This strong relationship is underpinned by historical contacts beginning with the explorations off the Western Australian coast by Dutch sea captains over 300 years ago. More recently, Australia welcomed many thousands of Dutch migrants after World War 11, while today we enjoy an extensive range of cultural exchanges. There is no better example of these than the Rembrandt exhibition now showing in Melbourne.

The strength of our bilateral relationship is reflected in the current visit of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr Wim Kok - the first ever by a Dutch PM- and his wife, Mrs Rita Kok.

Mr Delofski has been the Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva since December 1996. From 1993 to 1996 he was Australia's High Commissioner to Singapore. Prior to this, from September 1990 Mr Delofski held the position of First Assistant Secretary, Economic and Trade Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His responsibilities included advising the Minister for Trade and the Minister for Foreign Affairs on trade and economic policy. Mr Delofski was also Australia's senior official APEC representative and chair of APEC's Regional Trade Liberalisation Group. From 1982 to 1990 Mr Delofski was attached to the Department of Treasury where he held a number of senior positions and served in London for 3 years (1987-1990) as Minister (Economic) at the Australian High Commission.

Mr Delofski has a BA degree with first class honours in Economics from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Philosophy (Economics) degree from the University of Oxford (Balliol College). He is married with two children.