Official opening of KAS´ Australia Office
March 22, 2017
Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Volkmar Klein, German MP, Gerda Winkler, German Embassy, Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, Deputy Secretary General of KAS
The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has officially open its Australia office, located in the Parliamentary triangle in Canberra on 22 March 2017.
For Germany, dialogue with Australia and New Zealand is of special relevance due to our history of strong bilateral and regional relations. Given our shared values, common beliefs and interests, there are manifold opportunities for this partnership. Therefore the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has opened its new office in the parliamentary triangle and government district of Australia’s national capital, Canberra.
The main focus of the Regional Programme Australia and the Pacific, which covers Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific region, will be parliamentary and party dialogue, foreign and security policy, economic and social policy, climate and energy policy as well as development cooperation in the South Pacific.
The ceremonial opening on 22 March 2017 was overseen by the Australian Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann. Minister Cormann is the Chairman of the German-Australian Advisory Group, which is committed to the strengthening of bilateral relations at the highest political level. In the progress report of the Advisory Group from December 2016, the opening of the new office in Canberra had been highlighted: "... the Konrad Adenauer Foundation's (KAS) decision to open a new office in Canberra further strengthens our countries' knowledge and understanding of our common challenges and Interests. The new office will allow KAS to expand its existing research on Asia-Pacific. At the same time, Australia will benefit from KAS's major body of policy work on European issues."
In his speech for the 180 guests in attendance from political, diplomatic, academic, business and media spheres, the Minister emphasised that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is a great supporter of the expansion and deepening of bilateral relations between Germany and Australia. The Minister also noted that one measurable result since the beginning of the work of the Advisory Group has been the strengthening of trade relations and direct investments.
Guest of honour for the evening was MP Volkmar Klein from Germany. The Chairman of the German-Australian-New Zealand Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag, MP Klein stated in his speech that the momentum for the intensification of relations is growing and stressed the importance of partnerships between states whose policies are based on humanity and individual freedoms.
The Deputy General Secretary of KAS, Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, also spoke of the importance of the new office for the Foundation's international work. The Australia and the Pacific office will constitute a pivotal pillar for two of our main fields of expertise, namely foreign and security policy as well as parliamentary and party dialogue. We are proud to be the first of all political foundations in Germany to pay tribute to the outstanding role of Australia and the Pacific region within this global framework by opening an office here. Our common values and mutual interests in the fields of foreign policy, security and democratic core values will guide us in similar directions and will enable us to respond to the big challenges of our time.