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Media Release

14 September 2009

Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador to the UAE

Mr Douglas Trappett is to be Australia’s next Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Mr Trappett suceeds Mr Jeremy Bruer, who has been Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar since August 2005. Mr Trappett is expected to take up his appointment later this month.

Bilateral relations between Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are strong and growing. I have visited the UAE twice, most recently in March this year, where I also attended the inaugural Lowy Institute Australia-UAE Dialogue.

The UAE is a country of strategic importance and influence in the Gulf region. We exchange perspectives on regional and global issues and share a commitment to stability in the Middle East.

We are exploring new areas of cooperation, including on climate change and renewable energy.

Our trade relationship is substantial. The UAE is Australia’s largest merchandise trade partner in the Gulf with two-way trade valued at $6.3 billion in 2008, making it Australia’s 13th largest export market. Over 15,000 Australians are living and working in the UAE and more than 600 Australian companies do business there.

Mr Trappett will also be Australia’s non-resident Ambassador to the State of Qatar. We have good relations with Qatar, including an important trade relationship. In 2008, two-way trade was valued at $585 million - an increase nearly 35 per cent on the 2007 figure. Qatar is a major market for Australian passenger motor vehicles, live animals and meat.

We are working with the UAE and Qatar to conclude an Australia-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further expand trade and investment opportunities. Our engagement with the GCC will be further enhanced by a new Foreign Ministerial-level dialogue between Australia and the Gulf states, the first meeting of which will be next year.

Mr Trappett is an experienced officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently the Director of the Thailand and Philippines Section.

Mr Trappett has served as Deputy Head of Mission in Rangoon (2004 - 2006) and during the same posting as Chargé d’Affairs for a period of 6 months. Mr Trappett also served as Deputy Head of Mission in Apia (1997 - 2000).

Mr Trappett joined the Australian Public Service as a Graduate in the Department of Defence in 1990. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1994 and has held several positions in Canberra including Director, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma Section Executive Officer, Language Studies Unit.

Born in 1966, Mr Trappett holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from Flinders University, Adelaide and George Mason University, Virginia, USA. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy from the Australian National University. He speaks Burmese and is married with one child.

 

Media inquiries: Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555