APEC is critical to promoting economic growth in our region. It is a key vehicle for Australia to advocate economic reforms, address trade barriers facing Australian exporters and investors, and promote open and transparent markets in our region. Eight of Australia’s top-ten trading partners are in APEC, including China, Japan and the United States. Over 70 per cent of Australia’s total trade in goods and services is with APEC economies.
Mr Berne will take forward our APEC agenda, including services trade liberalisation, advancing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, and promoting the growth of global value chains. He will also work with our regional partners, including the Philippines as 2015 APEC host, to advance APEC’s structural reform agenda and improve investment and financial market integration.
Mr Berne is a senior career officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Seoul, and Counsellor in Australia’s Permanent Mission to the OECD. Mr Berne has led the Investment and Economics Branch and APEC Branch in DFAT, and has previous experience at the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and the Reserve Bank of Australia. He has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in economics from Macquarie University and the Australian National University.
Mr Berne will continue in his role as First Assistant Secretary of the Trade, Investment & Economic Diplomacy Division, while serving as APEC Ambassador.
We thank outgoing APEC Ambassador Mr Sam Gerovich for his contribution to advancing Australia’s interests in APEC since 2013.