Joint Media release
Joint Media release

Joint Media Release

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer and the Minister for Trade Mark Vaile

10 June 2005

Appointment of World Trade Organization Ambassador

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Bruce Gosper as Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The WTO was established on 1 January 1995 as the successor organisation to the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and is responsible for the administration of the agreements that govern the multilateral trading system. The WTO provides a forum for multilateral trade negotiations together with a binding system of rules for international trade and a dispute settlement process that enables members to take legal action when other members act inconsistently with their trading obligations. The WTO is the primary vehicle for Australia to protect and advance its trade interests.

Australia has benefited substantially from successive rounds of multilateral trade negotiations and the Government is strongly committed to securing an ambitious outcome to the current Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations. Mr Gosper will take up his position a few months before the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in December where WTO Ministers will work to seek agreement on key procedures for the final phase of the Round. Mr Gosper's strong trade policy credentials and his distinguished career in advising Government on trade policy issues make him well-equipped to further Australia's interests in the WTO.

Mr Gosper is a senior staff member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is currently First Assistant Secretary, Office of Trade Negotiations. He has held this position since January 2000 and prior to this served as Minister (Commercial) at the Australian Embassy in Washington (1998-2000). Mr Gosper has also held the positions of Senior Adviser to the Minister for Trade (1996-1998) and Assistant Secretary, Agriculture Branch, DFAT (1995).

Prior to joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Gosper worked for the Department of Primary Industries and Energy, where he held the position of Assistant Secretary, Meat and Livestock Branch (1992-1994), and served overseas as Counsellor (Agriculture) at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo (1989-1992). Mr Gosper has also worked for the Department of Trade and Resources (1980-1987).

Mr Gosper was born in Parramatta in 1957. He is a graduate of Macquarie University and the University of New England. He is married and has three sons.

Mr Gosper will replace David Spencer who has been Ambassador since August 2001, and will take up a position as Mr Vaile's special representative at the Hong Kong World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Meeting in December.

Media inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500,  Mr Vaile's office  02 6277 7420