Diplomatic Appointment - High Commissioner to Malaysia
5 May 2010
Today I announce the appointment of Mr Miles Kupa as Australia's High Commissioner to Malaysia. Mr Kupa replaces Ms Penny Williams who has been High Commissioner since March 2007. He is expected to take up his appointment later this month.
Malaysia and Australia have a strong, modern and diverse bilateral relationship, with active and cooperative relations across a broad range of sectors. These include trade and investment, education, defence, counter-terrorism, law enforcement and tourism. More recently, cooperation has expanded into new areas including countering people smuggling, sport and a joint teacher training program in Afghanistan.
Some 20,000 Malaysians study in Australia annually and people-to-people links are underpinned by a strong network of Malaysian alumni of Australian educational institutions dating back decades.
Australia and Malaysia are seeking to forge even closer trade and investment links through the negotiation of a free trade agreement. These talks will build on the successful conclusion of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and its entry into force at the beginning of 2010.
Since 2005 the Australia-Malaysia Institute has also fostered closer people-to-people links through a broad program of visits, cultural exchanges and cooperative activities.
Malaysia is Australia's eleventh largest two-way trading partner, with total two-way trade in 2008-09 valued at $14.68 billion, an increase of 4.6 per cent on the previous year. Malaysia is the fourteenth largest investor in Australia ($10 billion at the end of 2008) and Australian companies are increasingly looking at Malaysia as an investment destination.
Mr Kupa has extensive experience within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently a Deputy Secretary, a position he first took up in 1999.
Mr Kupa has previously served in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as head of the Foreign Affairs Branch and was chief of staff to the then Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Overseas, Mr Kupa has served as High Commissioner to Singapore, Ambassador to Thailand, Ambassador to the Philippines, Ambassador to Iraq, deputy head of mission in Jakarta, with earlier postings in Egypt, France and Thailand.
Mr Kupa holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree from the University of Melbourne. He is married with one child.
Mr Kupa speaks Indonesian, Thai and Malay.
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