US Ambassador visits Murdoch University

April 15, 2013

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American Ambassador Jeffrey L. Bleich held a roundtable talk and Q&A with Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Higgott, the Murdoch University senior leadership group and guests on April 11, 2013.

Ambassador Bleich discussed the American position on issues affecting Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, touching on diplomacy, security, technology and trade.

He also reconfirmed America’s commitment to Western Australia and talked about the nations’ strong economic ties, noting that the US was the largest foreign investor in WA as well as the number one destination for WA investment.

He said this commitment was exemplified by the opening of a Commercial Service Office in Perth this week, which will pursue business partnerships, explore trade opportunities and build relationships.

“Our engagement with Western Australia has been deep and long and will only get bigger and more robust,” Ambassador Bleich said.

“We believe WA is going to be a long-term fulcrum for growth in the Asia-Pacific region and an important place for us to invest.”

Ambassador Bleich said the new office was part of framework-building in Asia, which has included participation in the East-Asia Summit, APEC and refocussing G20 activity toward the region.

Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Higgott thanked the Ambassador for his visit.

“Ambassador Bleich is by no means a stranger to Western Australia, so we’re happy to welcome him back,” Professor Higgott said.

“We established the Sir Walter Murdoch Graduate School of Public Policy and International Affairs in 2011 for many of the reasons that the Ambassador has identified as important for future global prosperity.

“These include building multilateral trade by ensuring transparency and protection of the rule of law and taking measures to guarantee food, water and energy security in the Asia-Pacific region.

“It was heartening to look around the table and see the number of international specialists from Murdoch University deeply engaged in these areas.”

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