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

Media Release

FA72 - 2 June 2005

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates

I have today announced the appointment of Jeremy Bruer as Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Bruer will replace Noel Campbell, who has been Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates since August 2002. He is expected to take up his appointment in August 2005.

The growing strength and warmth of Australia's relations with the United Arab Emirates was reinforced by the launch of negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement in March 2004. A free trade agreement could significantly expand trade and investment opportunities between our two countries.

The United Arab Emirates is Australia's second largest market in the Middle East. Australia's exports have diversified from their traditional primary product base in recent years with two-way merchandise trade totalling $2.24 billion in 2004. Economic complementarities are emerging across a range of sectors, particularly in services.

People-to-people ties are also growing strongly, as tourism and educational linkages expand. There are more than 600 UAE students studying in Australian universities. Over 6000 Australians and 100 Australian companies are present in the United Arab Emirates. These ties have been strengthend by the large number of high-level visits between the two countries including over the past year alone, the UAE Minister of Economy and Planning, the UAE Minister of Communications and the Australian Ministers of Trade, Agriculture, Defence and Veterans Affairs.

The United Arab Emirates is a country of strategic importance and influence in the Gulf region, including as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Like Australia, it is also a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.

Mr Bruer is an employee of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Director of the Iraq Rehabilitation Unit, a position he has held since July 2004. Prior to this he was a Director in the Terrorism White Paper Taskforce. He has also held the positions of Executive Officer in the International Organisations Branch (2003-2004) and the Iraq Task Force (2003); First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Riyadh (1999-2002); Executive Officer, Pacific Islands Branch (1995-1998); and Third and later Second Secretary at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby (1992-1995).

Mr Bruer was born in Adelaide. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Arts in public policy and government from the University of Melbourne. He is married with four children.

Media inquiries : Ministerial 02 6277 7500, DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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