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

Media Release

FA69 -  18 May 2004

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Ghana

I have today announced the appointment of Jonathan Richardson as Australia’s High Commissioner to the Republic of Ghana. A new High Commission will open in Accra, Ghana, in June 2004.

Australia and Ghana enjoy positive relations based on solid commercial links and like-minded views on many international issues. Australia and Ghana have a history of constructive cooperation in international bodies and organisations, particularly the Commonwealth, of which Ghana is one of Africa’s most active and respected members.

As an agricultural exporting country like Australia, Ghana has been active in calling for the reform of global agricultural trade within the World Trade Organisation and is a leader among developing countries in supporting a rules-based global trading system.

Australian companies manage about 25 per cent of Ghana’s gold production, with Australian investment in the sector totalling about $1 billion. Australia’s merchandise exports to Ghana were worth $60 million in 2002-03, with metallic salts and peroxysalts comprising the largest export category. Ghana is also an expanding market for Australian dairy and meat exports as well as education and engineering and minerals technology services. Australia’s bilateral relationship with Ghana is strengthened by the presence of an 8000-strong Ghanaian community in Australia.

Mr Richardson is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Director of the WTO Regional and Free Trade Agreements Section in the Office of Trade Negotiations. In this capacity, he has also served as a lead negotiator on Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the United States and Singapore. His previous policy positions in Canberra include Director of the Trade Competitiveness Section.

Overseas, Mr Richardson has served as Counsellor and Charge d’Affaires in Moscow (1998-99); Counsellor in London (1995-98); Charge d’Affaires in Belgrade (1992-94); and Third Secretary in Moscow (1987-89).

Mr Richardson was educated at the Australian National University and Henley Management College in the United Kingdom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours and a Master of Business Administration.

Media inquiries:          Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02-6277 7500, Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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