MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER




FA 110
9 OCTOBER 1996

AUSTRALIAN HONORARY CONSUL MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY


I have today announced the appointment of Mr Diego L. Payssé as Australia's Honorary Consul in Montevideo, with jurisdiction throughout Uruguay. Mr Payssé is a Uruguayan citizen who works as a consultant and property manager in the agricultural sector.

The Australian Consulate in Montevideo was established in 1992, and has provided much assistance to Australian visitors to Uruguay. The Consulate is also able to provide assistance to Australian companies seeking to do business in the region.

Since 1985, Uruguay has pursued open foreign and trade policies and has developed a profile in multilateral institutions which belies its small size. Australian and Uruguayan foreign and trade policy interests coincide in several key areas, and we have cooperative relations across a range of multilateral forums. One of the most tangible is the importance of agriculture to both economies. Consequently Australia and Uruguay worked closely in the Cairns Group to ensure fairer international trade in agricultural products as part of the Uruguay Round. Uruguay is a strong supporter of the United Nations and has participated in international peacekeeping, including Cambodia.

Concerns about the environment and sustainable development have become major issues domestically and internationally. Australia and Uruguay work together on international environment issues through membership of the Valdivia Group, a coalition of temperate southern hemisphere countries which aims to advance common interests in international environmental forums.

Trade and investment between Australia and Uruguay has been modest. In 1995 Australia's exports totalled AUD 4.9 million and imports totalled AUD 4.7 million. Our main exports to Uruguay are wool, hides and skins and recreational items. Main imports from Uruguay include leather. Our primary exports complement each other and there should be scope for greater trade opportunities for a range of products and services. A one-off export of an Australian high speed catamaran ferry for use between Uruguay and Argentina boosted our 1992 exports by AUD 33.5 million.

The Australian Consulate is located at:

Rincon 487, 6th Floor
Montevideo, Uruguay

Telephone: (598-2) 960690
Facsimile: (598-2) 960823