The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP


Media Release

FA14 / 29 January 2002

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to the Philippines

I have today announced the appointment of Ms Ruth Pearce as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines.  Ms Pearce will replace Mr John Buckley who has been Ambassador since March 1999.  She is expected to take up her position in May 2002.

Australia and the Philippines enjoy longstanding and close relations, underpinned by strong people-to-people links. The Filipino community in Australia is now estimated to be in excess of 150,000. The Philippines and Australia share many common interests and we value our cooperation in regional affairs such as ASEAN, APEC and our joint contribution in East Timor.  Both countries also share a high level of cooperation as members of the Cairns Group. The Philippines is a very important development partner, ranking fourth largest as a recipient of Australian development assistance.  Our defence relationship continues to expand and Australia is now a significant external source of training assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Bilateral trade has continued to grow, even amidst the post September 11 global economic slowdown. Total two-way trade in FY 2000-01 amounted to A$2.013 billion. Australia’s major exports to the Philippines include dairy products, crude petroleum, live animals, copper and coal. Our major imports from the Philippines include computers, integrated circuits, equipment for distributing electricity, telecommunications equipment and radio-broadcast receivers.  Both countries are actively exploring ways to expand the trade relationship further.

Ms Pearce is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Ambassador to the Russian Federation.  She has also served as High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands (1992-94); Australian Delegate, UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva and UN General Assembly’s Third Committee (1984-88); Second Secretary in Tel Aviv (1978-82); and Third Secretary in Dhaka (1974-76).

In Canberra, Ms Pearce held the position of First Assistant Secretary in Corporate Management Division (1997-99); International Organisations and Legal Division (1996-97); and Americas and Europe Division (1995-96).  She was also Assistant Secretary, International Organisations Branch (1994-95); Director, Multilateral Trade Division (1989-91); and Executive Officer, Corporate Management Division (1982-84).

Educated at the University of Melbourne, Ms Pearce holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree with honours.


Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:30:50 EST


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