The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media release

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
Saturday, 02 September 2000

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to the Netherlands

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Peter Hussin as Australia's Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He will also be Australia's Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Mr Hussin will replace Mr Ted Delofski, who has been Ambassador since December 1997. He is expected to take up his appointment in January 2001.

Australia enjoys a broad-ranging bilateral relationship with the Netherlands. Trade and investment links are healthy with further potential for growth, particularly given the Dutch business community's growing awareness of Australia's economic strength and regional advantages, and the continuing strong growth outlook for both economies.

The world's sixth largest overseas investor, The Netherlands is Australia's second largest source of foreign direct investment from the European Union, and our fourth largest source globally. The Netherlands, a relatively low-cost, business-friendly platform from which to enter the continental European market, is the sixth major destination of Australian foreign direct investment. Relations with the Netherlands are also important to Australia's wider interests and we enjoy a mutually beneficial dialogue, particularly on European Union and WTO matters and on key Asia-Pacific regional issues.

Mr Hussin is currently First Assistant Secretary of the Trade Negotiations Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has a long history of trade policy work, having joined the then-Department of Trade in 1971 and served in London from 1978-81. In 198384, he worked as Private Secretary to the Minister for Trade. When the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade amalgamated in 1987, Mr Hussin took up the position of Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Trade Branch.

From 1988-92 he worked as Minister and Deputy Permanent Representative to the GATT in Geneva, and subsequently as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo.

In Canberra, he was Principal Adviser, International Organisations and Legal Division, and First Assistant Secretary, Passports, Services and Security Division, before taking up his current position.

Mr Hussin was born in Adelaide in 1948 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Flinders University. He is married with three children.

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