Joint Media release
Joint Media Release

Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mark Vaile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade

19 December 2005

Appointment of APEC Ambassador

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer and Minister for Trade Mark Vaile today announced the appointment of Mr David Spencer as Australia's Ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), succeeding Mr Doug Chester in the position.

As Ambassador for APEC, Mr Spencer will have responsibility for representing and guiding Australia's interests in APEC fora and for leading the development of Australia's policy priorities for APEC as we move towards Australia's hosting of APEC in 2007. 

APEC was established in 1989 to promote economic growth and prosperity in the region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community.  Its  primary focus is promoting trade and investment liberalisation and business facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region, but its agenda has expanded in recent years to address challenges confronting the region including counter-terrorism and other threats to regional security and prosperity.   Around 70 per cent of Australia's merchandise exports are destined for markets in APEC economies.

Mr Spencer is currently Special Representative, Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Meeting. He took up this position on returning from Geneva in September 2005 where he had served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO since 2001.

Mr Spencer has held a variety of senior positions in Canberra including Deputy Secretary (1998-2001), First Assistant Secretary, Americas and Europe Division (1996-98), and Special Adviser, Economic and Trade Division (1989-91).

Overseas, he has served as Deputy Chief of Mission, Australian Embassy, Washington (1993‑96), High Commissioner to Canada (1991-93), Senior Trade Commissioner, Hong Kong (1986-89), Counsellor, Australian Embassy, Tokyo (1980-84) and Counsellor, Australian Delegation to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Multilateral Trade Negotiations in Geneva (1973-78).

Educated at the Australian National University, Mr Spencer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Economics.  He is married with three children.

Media inquiries : (Minister Downer) 02 6277 7500 - (Minister Vaile) 02 6277 7420

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