Australia’s next Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been appointed to Heidi Venamore PSM.

With Burma taking positive steps towards a more open democracy and greater engagement with the region, Australia has revised its Burma sanctions list and reducing the number of individuals to whom it applies.

Louise Hand has been appointed as Australia's new High Commissioner to Canada, to begin this month. She will be replacing Justin Brown who has served in the position since 2008.

November 2011 saw another trade surplus recorded for Australia, making it the ninth consecutive monthly trade surplus in 2011 and a welcome report at the start of the new year.

Australia’s strong trade performance persisted throughout October, in the face of a strong Australian dollar and uncertain global economic conditions, with a $1.6 billion surplus, according to figures from the ABS.

China is becoming the global leader in the development of technology.

Australia's total goods and services exports almost reached $300 billion in the 2010/2011 financial year. This is an increase of more than 17 percent year-on-year.

The Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu will lead an extensive trade mission to India in late February 2012. The Super Trade Mission to India aims to engage with one of the world's fastest growing economies.

It is now exactly 10 years since Jim O’Neill, then the newly appointed Head of Economic Research at Goldman Sachs wrote a research paper "Dreaming with BRICs" in which he predicted that the global economy in the coming decades would be propelled by the growth of four populous and economically ambitious countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China, and famously coined the acronym "BRIC".

During the recent November 2011 APEC meeting in Hawaii, one of the key announcements was the agreement by nine of the members on the broad outlines of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement between their countries.