The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP

Media release

Thursday, 2 December 2004 - MVT95/2004

Dr Ashton Calvert

Trade Minister Mark Vaile today recognised the outstanding contribution that Dr Ashton Calvert, the retiring Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has made to Australia's trade policy agenda.

"I wish to express my deep gratitude and respect for the exceptional contribution that Dr Calvert has made to Australian trade policy," Mr Vaile said.

"Dr Calvert provided critical leadership and support in the Government's development and management of the most ambitious trade policy agenda that Australia has ever pursued.

"He made an invaluable contribution to the WTO Doha Round negotiations, in particular to the July framework package which locked in the historic commitment by WTO members to eliminate agricultural export subsidies.

"He also played a vital role in the very difficult concluding negotiations for the AUSFTA and provided astute guidance throughout the process.

"Most recently, he helped secure agreement to launch negotiations of an FTA between Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN and in paving the way for future possible FTA negotiations with China and Malaysia.

"I congratulate Dr Calvert on his achievements as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade during the past six and a half years. He has made a significant and lasting contribution to advancing Australia's trade interests, and the economic welfare of all Australians."

Mr Vaile welcomed the appointment of Michael L'Estrange, Australia's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, to replace Dr Calvert as Secretary, and said he looked forward to building on Australia's strong record of achievement in international trade relations.

Contact: Jemima Lohse 02 6277 7420

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