John PilbeamToday I announce the appointment of Mr John Pilbeam as Australia's next High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago. Mr Pilbeam will have non-resident accreditation to Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. He will also be accredited as the Australian Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Australia has a long-standing relationship with Caribbean countries, underpinned by strong historical, sporting and people-to-people links. Our cooperation with the region focuses on climate change, economic diplomacy, responding to natural disasters, and coral reef management.

Trinidad and Tobago is one of the Caribbean's fastest growing economies and is Australia's largest trading partner in the Caribbean, with a total two way trade of $29 million in 2013-14.

Mr Pilbeam is a career officer with DFAT and until recently was Director of the Korean Peninsula and Mongolia Section. Mr Pilbeam has previously served overseas as High Commissioner to Vanuatu and Deputy Consul-General in Hong Kong, with earlier postings in Seoul, New York, Port Moresby and Jamaica.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in East Asian Studies (Korea), Australian National University. 

Mr Pilbeam is expected to take up his appointment in February 2016. I thank outgoing High Commissioner Ross Tysoe AO for his contribution to advancing Australia’s interests in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean since 2013.

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