Former Minister for Trade
Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media Release with the Hon Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs

19 December 2008

Diplomatic Appointment - Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO)

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Peter Grey as Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The WTO was established on 1 January 1995 as the successor organisation to the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and is responsible for the administration of the agreements that govern the multilateral trading system. The WTO provides the main forum for multilateral trade negotiations, together with a binding system of rules for international trade and an effective mechanism for resolving international trade disputes.  The WTO is the primary vehicle for Australia to protect and advance its trade interests.

Australia has benefited substantially from successive rounds of multilateral trade negotiations and the Government is strongly committed to securing an ambitious outcome to the current Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.

Mr Grey was appointed a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1994.  As a member of the Department’s Senior Executive his responsibilities, during 2007-2008, included the Office of Trade Negotiations, the North Asia Division, the Economic Analytical Unit and the Task Forces negotiating free trade agreements with Japan, China, Malaysia and ASEAN. 

Mr Grey was Australian Ambassador to Japan from 1998-2001.  From 2003-2006 he was Ambassador to the European Union with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg.

Mr Grey was Australia’s Senior APEC Official from 1994 and Ambassador for APEC from 1996-1997, positions he held concurrently with the position of Deputy Secretary.  Earlier, Mr Grey served in Washington as First Secretary (Commercial), in Tokyo as Counsellor (Agriculture) and as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Primary Industry.  Other appointments with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have included First Assistant Secretary, Asia Division; and First Assistant Secretary, Trade Negotiations Division.

Mr Grey is married and has two children.  He has a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Sydney and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University.

Media Inquiries: Mr Crean's office 02 6277 7420 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555