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ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MAJOR Powered By Docstoc
					                                              ADDRESS BY
             HIS EXCELLENCY MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL JEFFERY AC CVO MC
            GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
                                        ON THE OCCASION OF
   THE OPENING OF NEW OFFICES FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CONSULATE-GENERAL
                                          ISTANBUL, TURKEY
                                              27 APRIL 2006


Thank you Damian. Marlena and I are delighted to be here, to open new premises for the Australian
Consulate General.

It's something of an understatement that Australia and Turkey have changed considerably in the past
five or more decades. Yet some people retain strong images of both nations that don't always accord
with reality. Kangaroos don't bound down the streets of Sydney, our staple diet is not meat pies; and the
conception by some in the west that Turkey merely resonates the splendour and luxury of the old
Ottoman Empire is far from accurate.

Although wonderful traditions underpin both nations, the 21st century reality is far more complex, and
dynamic. Nowhere is this more evident than here in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, and its cultural and
economic centre - the only metropolis in the world which sits astride two continents.

Ladies and gentlemen. The unfolding story of the Australia Turkey relationship is a positive one.

Twelve months ago, Prime Minister Erdoðan of Turkey and Prime Minister Howard of Australia re-
affirmed the long standing friendship between our two countries and undertook to re-invigorate the
relationship.

Much has occurred since then to build and strengthen that relationship - both in spirit and in the letter.
For example, Prime Minister Erdoðan visited Australia in December 2005. A Joint Economic
Commission was held in Ankara in November 2005. An Investment Promotion and Protection
Agreement was signed by Turkish Trade Minister Tüzmen and Australian Trade Minister Vaile in
Canberra in June 2005, and a Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture was signed in December
2005

Negotiations are continuing towards the conclusion of a Double Taxation Agreement, as are
negotiations to secure an air services agreement between Turkey and Australia.

Our two economies have much in common and there is potential for furthering the economic
relationship. We have relatively young populations to maintain the momentum of growth, and we both
actively seek foreign investment.

Australia's strengths in mining and agriculture provide a solid base to increase our trade and investment
relationship with Turkey. Australian mining companies have vast experience in prospecting, mining,
processing and marketing a wide range of mineral and energy products. These skills could be of great
assistance to Turkey in the development of its own mining and processing industries.

Australia's agriculture sector is amongst the most efficient in the world and we are keen to share our
expertise with Turkey.

The Australian Consulate-General has played a significant role in fostering trade between Turkey and
Australia. This financial year the Australian Trade Commission has facilitated Australian exports valued
at more than $353 million and Foreign Direct Investment valued at more than $84 million. Included in
this is Austal Ships sale of two 88 metre vessels to the Municipality of Istanbul worth $145 million.

Austrade has assisted two junior oil and gas companies expand in west and south-east Turkey.

Education services continue to grow, with our post using a web-based strategy to underpin Australia's
significant profile in this expanding sector.

In health services, Medicare Australia is assisting the Turkish Ministry of Health reform its health
financing system.

An Australian company is assisting one of Turkey's leading wineries to improve yields and production
capability.

But Turkey matters to Australia for more than just commercial reasons, as important as these are. In
short, both the Turkish and Australian Governments are committed to boosting people-to-people links,
particularly amongst young people.

As I noted earlier, both our countries have relatively young populations and it is among young people
that we hope a more vigorous relationship between our countries will emerge. For many years, foreign
students from a wide range of countries in Asia, the Middle-East and Europe come to Australia to study.
We would like to welcome many more Turkish students to our universities and colleges.

Turkey and Australia have both announced generous scholarship schemes to encourage study by young
Australian and Turkish students in each other's country. Australia has extended the Endeavour
Scholarship scheme to Turkey allowing five Turkish students to study in Australia and five Australians
to study in Turkey each year. And the Turkish Government is funding an additional five places for
Australians to study in Turkey.

We have also concluded a working holiday-maker arrangement, and it is hoped that this scheme will
allow young people to experience the culture and lifestyle of both countries.

At the moment much of the focus in Turkey is on its accession to the EU. Australia supports Turkey's
EU ambitions, and we believe that EU membership will be good for both Turkey and the EU.

The modern global economy, however, is much larger than Europe and there are great opportunities for
Turkey to exploit opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region of which Australia is an important and
dynamic partner.

Ladies and gentlemen. There is much exciting work to be done to further the mutual interests of
Australia and Turkey. And so we welcome these upgraded premises for Australia's Consulate-General,
to expand Australia's representation in this magnificent city and to raise the Australian profile. Indeed
the "Kickin up the Dust" exhibition of indigenous photographs here adds a superb dimension to the
deepening understanding between Australia and Turkey.

May I conclude by saying to Damian I've heard it said that a distinguished diplomat is one able to hold
his tongue in ten different languages.

In an altogether different manner, the 19th century English journalist and constitutional essayist, Walter
Bagehot, held this view: "A diplomat is not simply an agent, but also a spectacle."

I'm not sure that 'spectacle' is a term we would use now in the way the author meant it back then, but I
do use the word in the sense of 'extremely impressive'. And so, Damian I commend you and your staff
for the magnificent work you are doing to represent Australia's interests, and wish you all continuing
success for the future.

Ladies and gentlemen. It is my great pleasure now to declare the new premises of the Australian
Consulate-General officially open.

				
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