MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA 25

24 March 1999

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to the Philippines

I have today announced the appointment of Mr John Buckley as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines.

Mr Buckley succeeds Mr Miles Kupa, who presented his credentials in November 1996.

The Australia-Philippines relationship is long-standing, friendly and expanding strongly, particularly since the return to democratic government in the Philippines which heralded an era of political stability and strong economic growth in the Philippines. Two-way trade has increased by over 50 per cent in the past five years and despite the recent regional economic downturn the commercial relationship has great potential for further growth. Our bilateral trade with the Philippines has grown from $724 million in 1994 to $1.1 billion in 1998. The Philippines is increasingly seen as an attractive investment destination for Australian business.

We share with the Philippines a common outlook on many issues and many common interests. We value our cooperation on regional economic and security issues. APEC has been an important area of cooperation, as has the Cairns Group.

Our defence relationship is expanding. Australia is now the single largest external source of training assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Migration has made a major contribution to people-to-people links between our countries. The Filipino community in Australia now numbers over 90,000 first generation members and another 60,000 second generation. The Philippines is the fourth largest recipient of Australian development assistance, underlining the strength of our commitment to the relationship.

In celebration of the Philippines Centenary of Independence, the Government mounted a festival entitled "All the Best - From Australia", in Manila in November 1998. The festival included trade, cultural activities, sporting events and exhibitions. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Mr Fischer and I have both made successful visits to the Philippines since 1996. Our visits have served to reinforce Australia's relations with an increasingly influential country of South East Asia.

Mr Buckley is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1973. His overseas appointments have included Jakarta (1973-75), Bangkok (1979-82) and as Minister, GATT Mission in Geneva (1992-95). From 1984-89 Mr Buckley was with the Department of Finance. Mr Buckley served as Assistant Secretary, Resources Branch from 1989-92 and as Assistant Secretary, Trade Policy Issues and Industrials Branch (1995-97). From 1997-98 he was Assistant Secretary, Workplace Relations Act Taskforce. Since 1998, Mr Buckley has been the First Assistant Secretary, Passports, Services and Security Division.

Mr Buckley was born in Perth in 1944 and has a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Adelaide. He is married with a son and a daughter.

For further information: 

Minister - Innes Willox 6277 7500 or
Department - Geoff Leach 6261 1555


Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:36:33 EST

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