Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media release

18 November 2009

Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador to Spain

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Zorica McCarthy as Australia’s Ambassador to Spain. Ms McCarthy replaces Mr Noel Campbell who has been Ambassador since August 2006. She is expected to take up her appointment in January 2010.

Australia and Spain enjoy a cooperative and expanding relationship with growing trade and well-developed people-to-people links. Increasing numbers of Spanish tourists travel to Australia annually, while over 80,000 Australians tour Spain each year. Over 2,000 Spanish students were enrolled in Australian universities in 2008.

The visit of Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia in June this year affirmed the warm relations our countries share. The opening of the Cervantes Institute in Sydney is also a welcome development in the promotion of Spanish language and culture in Australia.

Spain's increasingly important role internationally, including as the President of the European Union in the first half of 2010, makes it a valuable partner for Australia in addressing a range of global issues and challenges.

In recent years, the Australian and Spanish governments have reinforced growing trade and investment links by developing a substantial policy dialogue on areas of shared interest.

The relationship between Australia and Spain is enhanced by the Australia-EU Partnership Framework which has put Australia-EU relations on a modern framework.

Spain offers significant potential as a partner for Australia, both in the business sphere and in international relations. Similarly, Australia’s economic size and strength, and its global and regional role are increasingly being recognised by Spain as it seeks to play a more substantial role in the Asia Pacific region.

The Spanish economy is the fifth largest in the European Union and the eighth largest in the world. Our two economies have important complementarities, with Australia offering significant investment opportunities for leading Spanish companies, while Spain offers Australian business the attractions of a large, diverse and industrialised Eurozone economy. Bilateral trade totalled nearly A$3 billion in 2008.

Ms McCarthy is a career diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and was most recently the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan. Ms McCarthy has extensive experience from within the Department and has served overseas in Seoul, Washington, New York, Port Moresby and Rome.

Ms McCarthy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) from Flinders University and speaks French, Italian and Spanish. She has two daughters.

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