Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Mr Gerald Thomson as Australia's next Ambassador to Sweden, with non-resident accreditation to Estonia, Finland and Latvia.
Mr Thomson is expected to take up his appointment in January 2013, replacing Mr Paul Stephens.
Mr Thomson is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has previously served as Counsellor at the Australian High Commission in Papua New Guinea and as First Secretary at the Australian Embassy in China. He was most recently Assistant Secretary, North East Asia Branch.
Mr Thomson holds a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from the Australian National University, a Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia. He speaks Swedish and Mandarin.
Sweden and Australia have major economic links, with two-way investment valued at $7.4 billion in 2011. An estimated 34,000 people of Swedish ancestry live in Australia, and around the same number of Swedish tourists visit Australia each year.
Australia enjoys a mature relationship with Finland, underpinned by Working Holiday Maker Arrangements and Agreements on Social Security and Double Taxation. Relations with Latvia and Estonia were also recently enhanced through the 2011 signing of a Social Security Agreement with Latvia and current negotiations for an Agreement with Estonia.
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