Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Peru

Media release

14 July 2010

Today I announce the appointment of Mr John ML Woods PSM as Australia's Ambassador to Peru. Mr Woods is expected to take his appointment in September 2010.

This announcement implements the commitment given by former Prime Minister Rudd to Peru's President Garcia in November 2008 at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit that Australia would re-open its Embassy in Lima in 2010. It also forms an important part of the Government's strategy to strengthen Australia's relations, not just with Peru, but also with Latin America.

Australia enjoys a warm and growing relationship with Peru, based on increasing economic and commercial engagement, developing people-to-people links and closer cooperation in multilateral and regional forums.

Australia's total two-way goods and services trade with Peru in 2008-09 was valued at A$350 million, with a growth trend for both imports and exports. Over 2,200 Peruvian students enrolled in Australian educational institutions in 2009, making Peru the third largest source of students from Latin America last year.

As part of our strategy to boost relations with Latin America, Australia made a significant contribution in 2009 to a microfinance project in Peru in a new partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank.

Both Australia and Peru are engaged in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations — a trade agreement aimed at strengthening economic integration in the region, which provides a possible pathway towards the long term goal of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

Australia and Peru cooperate in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, APEC and the Forum for East Asia Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC). Both countries worked closely together in 2008, Peru's APEC year and this has continued in 2009 and 2010. Peru is also an ally in the quest for agricultural trade liberalisation through its membership of the Cairns Group.

Mr Woods is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Mr Woods has extensive experience within the Department and has previously served overseas as Ambassador, Venezuela, and Deputy Head of Mission, India. He had earlier postings to the United Kingdom, Egypt and Jordan.

Mr Woods holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Economics degree from the Australian National University and a Diploma in Corporate Management from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. Mr Woods was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service on 11 June 1990. He speaks Spanish and Arabic. Mr Woods is married with two children.

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