Today I announce the appointment of Ms Julie-Ann Guivarra as Australia's next Ambassador to Spain with non-resident accreditation to Andorra and Equatorial Guinea.

Australia and Spain enjoy a warm and growing relationship. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations (2017-18) and serving together on the UN Human Rights Council (2018-20 term). Approximately 120,000 Australians claim Spanish ancestry, and our people-to-people links are expanding through business and tourism.

Trade and investment links are strong, with Spanish companies bringing significant expertise in Australia's transport, infrastructure and renewable energy generation sectors. Australian companies also have significant prospects in Spain's resources and energy, financial services and advanced manufacturing sectors. We look forward to commencing negotiations for an Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement.

Ms Guivarra is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade where she was most recently Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Investment & Services Branch. She has previously served overseas as Counsellor (Agriculture), Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization, Geneva and Second Secretary, Australian High Commission, New Delhi. In Canberra, she has served as Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Analytical and Effectiveness Branch; Director, Services Trade & Negotiations Section; and Director, Trade and Environment Section.

Ms Guivarra holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from James Cook University and a Master of Arts (Foreign Affairs and Trade) from Monash University.

I thank previous Ambassador Virginia Greville for her contributions since 2015 to advancing Australia's interests in Spain.

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