Today we announce the appointment of Mr Simon Newnham as Australia’s next Ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

APEC’s role in facilitating economic growth is vital for our region’s prosperity. Australia works closely with APEC members to promote economic reforms and to advocate for trade and investment liberalisation which will support open and transparent markets in our region.

Australia’s relationship with APEC is important, as seven of our top ten trading partners are members including China, the United States and Japan. Over 70 per cent of Australia’s total trade in goods and services is with APEC economies.

Mr Newnham will progress our APEC agenda, including deepening services trade liberalisation, advancing negotiations towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and promoting women’s economic empowerment. He will also work with our regional partners, including Vietnam and Papua New Guinea as 2017 and 2018 APEC hosts respectively, to advance APEC’s structural reform agenda and improve the environment for small business and investment.

Mr Newnham is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He has previously served overseas as Minister-Counsellor (Trade) at the Australian Embassy, Washington, and as Counsellor at the Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization, Geneva. In Canberra, Mr Newnham has led the Agriculture Branch and was Chief of Staff to the former Minister for Trade. Mr Newnham holds a Bachelor of Arts/Law (Hons) from Monash University.

Mr Newnham will continue in his role as First Assistant Secretary of the Investment and Economic Division, while serving as APEC Ambassador.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555