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Paul Madden

British Ambassador to Japan

Part of UK in Australia

5th November 2012

Australia in the Asian Century: mutual challenges and opportunities

The Australian government published a White Paper last week setting out strategic directions for “Australia in the Asian Century”. It outlined things Australia needs to do to increase its orientation towards the rising Asian countries, and things it needs to do domestically to improve its economic competitiveness in the face of ever more intense competition.

Most commentators have described it as a sensible set of recommendations. We would share much of the analysis in Britain, though we would add that there are other important emerging economies outside Asia too. So it was very good timing for the FCO’s Economic Director General, Barbara Woodward, to be in Australia for the annual Strategic Dialogue talks, together with her colleague from our Ministry of Defence.

She had a chance to discuss Asia, and other issues, with officials, politicians and commentators, and describe some of the things we are doing through our “network shift” to focus significantly more diplomatic effort on China, India and other fast growing economies. The visit helped to prepare for the Australia UK Ministerial meeting (AUKMIN) which will take place in Perth in January.

Barbara also had some good meetings with the business community to pursue our prosperity agenda, particularly financial services companies in Sydney and resources businesses in Melbourne. She met NSW Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard, together with a group of British companies who have a keen interest in the huge infrastructure opportunities in the Australian market.

As both British and Australian businesses adjust their strategies to the evolving dynamic of Asia, we are inextricably linked, not least because European consumers buy Chinese products, stimulating Chinese demand for Australian resources and services.  And, as well as competing with each other, there are many opportunities for British and Australian companies to collaborate in tackling emerging markets in this region.

I will be giving a speech about this, together with Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, at the Australia British Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne later this week.

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.