Date: August 24 2012
Former South Australian Labor premier Mike Rann will be Australia's next top envoy in Britain, the federal government has confirmed.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced the appointment of Mr Rann as high commissioner yesterday.
He will replace seasoned diplomat John Dauth, who has been in the role for almost four years.
''Mike Rann has exceptional business and personal links with the UK,'' Senator Carr said in a statement.
News of Mr Rann's appointment leaked late last week but the government initially declined to confirm it.
Senator Carr said Mr Rann's knowledge of many of the big British companies that invest in and trade with Australia will be a particular advantage.
''He has friends on both sides of British politics and will very quickly take up the agenda that John Dauth has pursued so vigorously,'' he said.
''The academic posts he has embraced since leaving the premiership also equip him as high commissioner.''
Mr Rann was SA premier from 2002 to 2011.
Britain is Australia's second largest source of foreign direct investment. Total two-way trade last year was valued at more than $23 billion.
Mr Rann said he looked forward to working hard in Britain on behalf of Australians.
Mr Rann said he had close connections in British politics and business, and with scientific, educational and arts institutions. AAP
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