MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


 

FA37a

2 April 1998

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: CONSUL-GENERAL IN HONG KONG

 

I have today announced the appointment of Ms Susan Boyd as Australian Consul-General in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China.

Ms Boyd will replace Mr Geoff Walsh, who has been Consul-General since August 1995.

The Hong Kong SAR is a major regional and international financial, trade, services and media centre located in the dynamic southern part of China where Australia has extensive and important interests. Hong Kong is Australia's eighth largest export market, the eleventh largest trading partner and our fourth largest source of investment.

In 1997, more than 13,770 students from Hong Kong came to Australia for full-time study, making Hong Kong the fourth-largest source of overseas students. Tourism from Hong Kong to Australia also remains strong.

The largest Australian expatriate community in Asia - over 30,000 Australians - lives in Hong Kong and more than 350 Australian companies are represented there. The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is the second-largest foreign chamber in Hong Kong and the largest Australian chamber overseas.

Hong Kong is also a valued APEC and WTO partner.

The Government has welcomed the developments in the Hong Kong SAR since its establishment in July last year, and strongly supports the continuation of those elements of Hong Kong's way of life that have underpinned its success: its free economy; free press; the rule of law, and its evolving democratic institutions.

Ms Boyd has been Australian Ambassador to Vietnam since October 1994. Since joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1970, she has served in Bangladesh as High Commissioner, Lisbon, East Berlin and the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York. In Canberra she was the Official Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, covered relations with the Parliament and Media and directed the Personnel Development Program. She was Foreign Affairs Liaison Officer in Darwin during the Timor crisis and at various stages covered West Europe, the European Community and ASEAN.

Ms Boyd has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Diploma of Education from the University of Western Australia and had three years experience as a journalist with the Perth Daily News. From 1964-65 she taught in Zambia with the British Voluntary Service Overseas Scheme.

Ms Boyd is expected to take up her appointment in June 1998.


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