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Paul Madden

British Ambassador to Japan

Part of UK in Australia

20th November 2014

World leaders linger in Australia

A number of the world leaders who came to Australia for the Brisbane G20 stayed on afterwards for formal Guest of Government visits, taking in several different states, including Tasmania. I suspect by the end of this week Australians, and particularly Canberrans, were getting pretty blasé about having Presidents and Prime Ministers in town.

PM Abbott and Chinese President Xi in Canberra
PM Abbott and Chinese President Xi in Canberra

In the course of this week I attended addresses to Parliament by President Xi of China and Prime Minister Modi of India. Between them they represented around a third of the world’s population. The speeches were both powerful and significant, though the styles of delivery were somewhat different. President Xi spoke in Chinese,  he talked about the strategic environment in the region and the business links with Australia. China takes a third of Australia’s exports, so the new Free Trade Agreement he announced with PM Abbott will have a big impact.

PM Modi talked about Indian and Australians’ shared love of cricket. Having worked closely with the No 10 speechwriters on David Cameron’s address to Parliament the previous week, I took a close interest in how these important speeches were crafted. PM Modi had a very good joke – suggesting that by inviting so many foreign leaders to address the Parliament (three in the space of a week) – PM Abbott was “shirtfronting” his own MPs.

I also attended a State Dinner for President Xi in the Grand Hall at Parliament and a State Lunch for President Hollande, which took place in the National Gallery, reflecting – as PM Abbott said – France’s contribution to world culture. Meanwhile Chancellor Merkel address a large audience in Sydney,  hosted by the Lowy Institute, Australia’s leading foreign policy think tank.

I am sure all the leaders will have gone home with great impressions from the warmth of the Australian welcome.

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.