Today I announce the appointment of Mr Anthony Aspden as Australia’s next Consul-General in Guangzhou.
Southern China plays a key role in our substantial economic relationship with China, Australia’s largest trading partner. It is a major market for Australian resources and energy, and an important consumer market for high-quality Australian goods and services.
Located in one of China’s most populous provinces, the Consulate-General supports opportunities for Australian business and industry throughout this rapidly growing part of China. In 2021, Australia’s two-way merchandise trade with Guangdong Province alone was worth AUD$31.3 billion, accounting for around 10 per cent of Australia’s total bilateral merchandise trade with China.
The Consulate-General in Guangzhou is responsible for advancing Australia’s interests in Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, Guangxi and Hainan. Australia has enjoyed longstanding and enduring ties with this region, including extensive ancestral and cultural links.
Mr Aspden is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Assistant Secretary, East Asia Outreach Branch.
He has previously served overseas in Beijing, Moscow, Honiara (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)) and Seoul.
I thank outgoing Consul-General Michael Sadleir for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Southern China since 2020.