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Paul Madden

British Ambassador to Japan

Part of UK in Australia

10th March 2014

From software to pork pies – the Australian market beckons

HE Paul Madden at Thorntons Chocolate

I have just spent a busy three days in the UK’s North West and East Midlands, meeting some 40 companies to promote the opportunities in the Australian market. I gave group presentations in Warrington and Leicester and made a number of visits to individual companies who are beginning to tackle the Australian market.

HE Paul Madden at Thorntons Chocolate
HE Paul Madden at Thorntons Chocolate

The range of sectors was very wide. In Altrincham I called on Informed Solutions , a software company who demonstrated some fascinating Geographical Information Systems they’ve developed for various government agencies. And in Southport I visited precision engineering firm Lattimer, who already supply niche manufactured products to the bottle manufacturing industry across Australia.

The famous luxury chocolate manufacturer Thorntons – who doesn’t enjoy a tour of a chocolate factory? – described their growing penetration on the shelves of major Australian retailers, which looks set to expand considerably as they increasingly focus on export markets. Walkers, the UK’s top maker of Melton Mowbray Pork Pies (240 million pies a year) is poised to satisfy the undoubted demand from Australian consumers, as soon as the necessary phyto-sanitary approvals are in place. I undertook to help drive that regulatory process forward.

HE Paul Madden at Field Candy
HE Paul Madden at Field Candy

One of the most fun visits was to recent start-up Field Candy, manufacturer of innovative tents with a range of colourful designs like sheep in fields and wooden sheds. They’ve just got their first order from Harrods, and are already picking up Australian customers through their website, without any marketing there. That seemed to be quite a common phenomenon with a number of companies.

During the visit I gave several interviews to local radio and press. My message was twofold: the scale of the opportunity in the culturally familiar Australian market, with UK exports up 80% over the last 5 years, and the availability of help from UK Trade & Investment who offer a seamless network from their international trade advisers in the English regions through to the local experts in our consulates around Australia. I was pleased to hear very good feedback from those companies who were already using UKTI services.

It was good to meet so many innovative companies and hear about their plans to do business in Australia. I was struck by the growing sense of optimism among the UK business community as the economy returns to sustainable growth.

Watch the High Commissioner’s video blog on his visit.

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.