FA152 - 23 October 2002
Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Malaysia
I have today announced the appointment of James Wise as Australia's
next High Commissioner to Malaysia.
Mr Wise will replace Peter Varghese, who has been High Commissioner
since February 2000. Mr Wise is expected to take up his appointment
Malaysia and Australia enjoy a strong and diverse bilateral relationship.
We have well-developed people-to-people links, supported by our extensive
education relations. This year, there are an estimated 25,000 Malaysians
studying Australian education programs (both here and in Malaysia),
with a major alumni network dating back to the Colombo Plan.
Trade and investment links also are strong, as are defence cooperation,
tourism links, and cooperation to combat people-smuggling, terrorism
and narcotics. Australian and Malaysian Ministers hold regular talks
in a range of bilateral and multilateral meetings, including through
our bilateral Joint Trade Committee (JTC), the Malaysia Australia
Dialogue process, WTO meetings and a range of APEC gatherings. Our
extensive defence cooperation encompasses valued bilateral links as
well as cooperation through the Five Power Defence Arrangements.
In 2001 Malaysia was Australia's third-largest trading partner in
ASEAN and our 11th largest partner overall. Two-way goods
and services trade was worth A$8.1 billion. Malaysia was our 10th
largest source of imported goods and our 12th largest export
market for goods. Major Australian exports include dairy and other
food products, sugar, wheat, copper, aluminium and non monetary gold.
Major imports from Malaysia include computers, crude petroleum, integrated
circuits, telecommunications equipment and radio receivers. We also
have a dynamic services trade with Malaysia, focused on education
Mr Wise is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade and is currently First Assistant Secretary of South Pacific,
Africa and Middle East Division. Other positions he has held include
Assistant Secretary, Staffing Branch (1999-2001); Assistant Secretary,
New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Branch (1998-99); Director, Russia,
East Europe and Central Asia Section (1994-95); and Senior Analyst,
Office of National Assessments (1991-94).
Overseas, Mr Wise has served as Minister (Deputy Head of Mission)
and Permanent Representative to ESCAP in Bangkok (1995-98), Second
and First Secretary in Moscow (1987-91) and Third Secretary in Port
Educated at the University of Tasmania, Mr Wise holds a Bachelor
of Arts degree with first class Honours in History. He is married
with two children.
Media inquiries: Chris Kenny 02 6277 7500 - Julie McDonald (Departmental)
Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:28:35 EST