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Media release

20 November 2009

Diplomatic Appointment - Consul-General in Guangzhou

Today I announce the appointment of Mr Grant Dooley as Australia’s Consul-General in Guangzhou. Mr Dooley replaces Sean Kelly who has been Consul-General since January 2007. Mr Dooley is expected to take up his appointment in January 2010.

China’s growing economic and political influence is having a profound impact on the Asia-Pacific region and the world. China is now Australia’s largest trading partner. Two-way trade has increased by 30 per cent to $83 billion in 2008-09 underpinned by strong growth in resources exports.

The Consulate-General in Guangzhou is located in Guangdong province, China’s largest provincial economy. The Consulate-General also has responsibility for five other southern Chinese provinces - Guangxi, Hunan, Fujian, Yunnan and Hainan. Together with Guangdong, these account for over fifteen per cent of Australia’s total exports to China.

Guangdong province accounts for close to a third of both China’s imports and exports and around nine per cent of Australia’s trade with China.

The landmark multi-billion dollar North West Shelf liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with China in 2006 saw Guangdong emerge as the key export destination in China for Australian LNG.

Australia’s people-to-people ties with southern China are strong with a long history of migration to Australia. Guangdong’s sister-state relationship with New South Wales celebrated its thirtieth anniversary this year, while Fujian has a sister-state relationship with Tasmania.

Guangdong’s status as the largest Chinese market for Australian education providers and the largest source of Chinese tourists is evidence of a dynamic and deepening relationship.

Mr Dooley has extensive experience within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has previously served overseas in Jakarta and Shanghai.

Mr Dooley was a member of the Royal Australian Navy (1982-98) prior to joining DFAT in 1998.

Mr Dooley speaks Mandarin, holds a Bachelor of Asian Studies (Chinese) and a Master of International Affairs, both from the Australian National University. Mr Dooley is married with five children.

 

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