2 July 1998

Diplomatic Appointment Ambassador to Sweden

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Stephen Brady as Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, with non-resident accreditations to the Kingdom of Norway and to the Republics of Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania.

Mr Brady will replace Ms Judith Pead, who has been Ambassador since January 1996.

Australia enjoys a constructive relationship with Sweden, with long-standing trade and investment links and cooperation on a range of international issues, including disarmament and arms control, human rights and support for the multilateral trading system. It also has close defence industry collaboration.

In 1997, Australian merchandise exports to Finland were valued at $A289 million, while exports to Sweden were worth $A145 million. Australia's trade with both Sweden and Finland is heavily in their favour. In 1997, merchandise exports to Norway totalled $152 million, whilst imports from Norway were $169 million. Norway and Australia share common expertise in various industrial sectors, including oil and gas, mining, chemicals, and marine and shipping. This points to a receptive market for Australian technology and expertise in these sectors. Australia has also increased its exports to Iceland.

I am particularly pleased to announce the appointment on the visit today to Canberra by the Prime Minister of Estonia. In Estonia and Lithuania there are encouraging signs of growth in Australian exports and Australia enjoys a trade surplus with each of the Baltic States.

Mr Stephen Brady, an Assistant Secretary of DFAT, is a career officer, joining in 1982. He has also worked in the International Division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and was later seconded as Foreign Policy Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition and shadow Foreign Ministers. In 1990, after a short term mission to Stockholm as First Secretary, he served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Dublin where from December 1990 to August 1991 he was Charge d'affaires a.i.

From September 1991 to April 1996, Mr Brady was Director of Visits in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, responsible for the then Prime Minister's official overseas travel and was the then Prime Minister's representative on official visits into Australia by Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers. In May 1996, he was seconded, from DFAT, as a Senior Adviser in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Mr Brady, 39, is a graduate of the Australian National University and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in international relations.

He is expected to take up his appointment in January 1999.

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