Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D19

1 May 1995

EAST ASIAN HEMISPHERE AMBASSADORS TO MEET IN CANBERRA

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will assemble its most senior diplomatic representatives in the East Asian region for a major conference to review Australia's performance and discuss the strategic direction of Australia's relations with the region to 2000 and beyond.

The conference will be held from 3-5 May in Canberra.

It will be the first time Australian Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Consuls-General, of the North-East Asian and South-East Asian regions have been called together for a conference.

The attendees are:

The three portfolio Ministers, Senator Evans, Senator McMullan and Mr Bilney, will be involved in the discussions with the Heads of Mission on strategies and directions for Australian foreign, trade and other policy interests in the region.

In addition, Mr Colin Heseltine, Senior Representative, Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (ACIO) in Taipei has been invited to the conference along with representatives of major economic and policy departments with interests in the region.

As well as reviewing the achievements of the Government's Asia policy to date, the senior diplomats will examine the development of the East Asian region politically and economically over the next five years and the implications for Australia's policies and priorities.

The conference will address security and strategic issues; Australia's economic engagement with the East Asian hemisphere; Government services to Australian business in the region; cultural factors affecting Australia's relations with East Asia and public diplomacy.

Following the meeting, the diplomats will participate in extensive consultations with business through a series of briefings and seminars on 8-9 May in Sydney and Melbourne. This will provide an opportunity to brief business leaders on developments across the region and in individual countries.

A Ministerial Press Conference attended by the Heads of Missions will be held at 2pm on Friday 5 May in Senate Committee Room 2S1 of Parliament House, Canberra.

For further information, please contact: Paul Molloy, DFAT, on (06) 261 3207.