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Paul Madden

British Ambassador to Japan

Part of UK in Australia

13th March 2012

Speaking about the economy

It’s been quite a business-focused couple of weeks. I accompanied Hector Sants, CEO of the UK’s Financial Services Authority for calls in Canberra and Sydney.  He had come to look at Australia’s “Twin Peaks” regulatory structure, which is close to the model the UK is currently moving towards. We called on Treasurer Wayne Swan, Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten and Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens, and met a range of officials and business representatives. The general consensus was that the regulatory regime was an important contributor to Australia coming relatively well through the Global Financial Recession.

While I was in Sydney I managed to catch up with my old friend Sir Andrew Whitty CEO of GSK, the pharmaceuticals giant and one of Britain’s most respected companies. He was briefly passing through to see GSK’s extensive Australian businesses which, he told me, were doing very well.

Then I went to Adelaide to address a lunch organised by the Australia Britain Chamber of Commerce, together with Premier Jay Weatherill. Our theme was “Succeeding in the Asian Century.” Jay talked about South Australia’s success in attracting British investment, particularly in the Defence sector.

I had seen this with my own eyes, as I had actually spent that morning visiting BAe Systems’ impressive facility there. In my speech I explained the background to the current Eurozone problems and explained why I remained confident about the UK’s economic prospects.

I was also invited to speak at a Conference organised by the Queensland Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO).   I spoke on “The World Economy today and how it impacts on us”, together with Doug McTaggart, Chief Executive of the Queensland Investment Corporation.

It was good to have an opportunity to engage with this group of entrepreneurs, all running significant businesses in the state, to get a real insight into their views on the current business scene. I also enjoyed joining Clive Palmer, the colourful resources billionaire who is seldom out of the news, at the Conference dinner. It was fascinating to hear about his long standing links with China.

Oh yes, and it’s been a fascinating time in Canberra too, but it’s not really for me to comment on Australian domestic politics. Suffice it to say that Kevin Rudd was a highly respected Foreign Minister who enjoyed a close relationship with William Hague, and I’m sure that the relationship with new Foreign Minister, the eminent statesman Bob Carr, will be just as strong. I spoke to him a few hours after he was nominated and arranged for him to have a good conversation with William Hague later that day.

About Paul Madden

Paul Madden has been the British Ambassador to Japan from January 2017. He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.He was British High Commissioner to Australia…

Paul Madden has been the British Ambassador to Japan from January 2017.

He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.He was British High Commissioner to Australia until February 2015. Prior to this he was British High Commissioner in Singapore from 2007-2011.

A career diplomat, he was previously Managing Director at UK Trade and Investment (2004-2006), responsible for co-ordinating and
implementing international trade development strategies to support
companies across a wide range of business sectors.

As Assistant Director of Information at the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office (2003-2004) he was responsible for public diplomacy policy,
including managing the FCO funding of the BBC World Service, the British
Council and the Chevening Scholarships programme. He led the team
responsible for the award-winning UK pavilion at the Aichi Expo in Japan

He was Deputy High Commissioner in Singapore from 2000-2003 and has
also served in Washington (1996-2000) and Tokyo (1988-92). Between
1992-96 he worked on EU enlargement and Environmental issues at the FCO
in London.

Before joining FCO he worked at the Department of Trade and Industry
(1980-87) on a range of industrial sectors and trade policy, including
two years as a minister’s Private Secretary.

He has an MA in Economic Geography from Cambridge University, an MBA
from Durham University, studied Japanese at London University’s School
of Oriental and African Studies, and is a Fellow of the Royal
Geographical Society. His first book, Raffles: Lessons in Business
Leadership, was published in 2003.

Married to Sarah, with three children, he was born in 1959, in Devon.