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Diplomatic appointment: Brussels [Donald Kenyon]

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26 November 1996

Diplomatic appointment: Brussels [Donald Kenyon]

I have today announced the appointment to Brussels of Mr Donald Kenyon as Chief of the Australian Mission to the European Union, and as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, with non-resident accreditation to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Mr Kenyon will replace Mr Edward Pocock, who has held these responsibilities since June 1992.

Australia has a strong and growing relationship with the European Union (EU). Our links are longstanding and include some of our most vital economic interests and a wide and richly diverse range of cultural and people-to-people ties. The EU is Australia's largest source of and host for foreign investment including foreign direct investment; our largest source of imports, including of capital goods which are fundamental to Australia's technology base and economic growth; and our second largest market for exports of both goods and services. Luxembourg will hold the EU Presidency in the second half of 1997.

Australia enjoys constructive relations with Belgium and Luxembourg. We share similar approaches to many international issues, including arms control, disarmament and Antarctica. Belgium and Luxembourg are members of the Australia Group on Chemical Weapons. The Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) is Australia's sixth most important source of total investment (BLEU direct and portfolio investment in Australia totalled A$8.2 billion in 1995) and the second largest EU investor in Australia. Two-way trade between Australia and the BLEU is also substantial, reaching A$1.3 billion in 1995.

Mr Kenyon, a career officer who joined the Department of Trade in 1967, has served in Brussels successively as First Secretary 1970-74, Counsellor (Trade Policy) 1980-82, first as Minister (Commercial) and later as Chief of Mission, 1986-89.

In Canberra his appointments have included Assistant Secretary responsible for Commodity Policy and for GATT respectively, and Principal Adviser Multilateral Trade Division 1989-1993. During the latter period, he was closely involved in the Uruguay Round negotiations. Since 1993, he has been Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.

Mr Kenyon is a graduate of the University of Sydney.