The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP


Media Release

FA91 / 19 June 2002

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Bangladesh

I have today announced the appointment of Lorraine Barker as AustraliaŪs next High Commissioner to the PeopleŪs Republic of Bangladesh.

Ms Barker will replace Robert Flynn who has been High Commissioner since September 1999.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Bangladesh.› This is a significant milestone - Australia was the fourth country to establish diplomatic relations with Bangladesh after it achieved independence in 1971.› Since then, the two countries have developed a constructive and expanding relationship both bilaterally and in the international arena.› Bangladesh Prime Minister, Begum Khaleda Zia, visited Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in March 2002.

AustraliaŪs trade with Bangladesh has grown steadily in recent years, reflecting economic growth in Bangladesh.› From 1997 to 2001, two-way trade rose from $303 million to $397 million.› Exports in 2001 totalled $350 million.

Bangladesh is a major recipient of Australian aid.› AustraliaŪs aid budget for Bangladesh this financial year is $35.6 million.

Ms Barker is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has held a wide range of positions at home and abroad.› She has served overseas in Sri Lanka, Hungary and China.› In Canberra, she has held senior positions covering a range of administrative and policy programs.› On return from her last overseas assignment in late 1998, Ms Barker was appointed Director of the Australia-Indonesia Institute and in early 2000, she moved to the Market Development and Business Liaison Branch where she currently handles the GovernmentŪs key trade policy consultative mechanisms with business and State Governments and a range of market access initiatives.›

Ms Barker was born in Murrumburrah, New South Wales, in 1953 and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) degree from the University of New South Wales.› She has a nine year old daughter.

Ms Barker is expected to take up her appointment in November 2002.

Media enquiries:› Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555


Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:29:36 EST


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