The team

Mark Thirlwell - Chief Economist

Mark Thirlwell

Appointed as Austrade’s Chief Economist in September 2013, Mark has been tracking global economic trends since he joined the Bank of England’s International Divisions in 1990, where he worked as part of the Whitehall Economists Subgroup, coordinating the forecasting of major emerging markets across the Bank, Treasury, the FCO and other stakeholders. Mark later joined J P Morgan in London as a Vice President in Economic Research with responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe.

After moving to Australia, he served as Senior Economist at Australia’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), working on sovereign risk with a particular focus on East Asia.

Before joining Austrade, Mark was the inaugural Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Economy Program and also a Fellow at the Institute’s G20 Studies Centre. He was one of the original research team that helped establish the Lowy Institute as one of Australia’s leading think tanks.

Mark is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University’s National Security College.

He has degrees in economics from Cambridge and Oxford Universities and a postgraduate qualification in applied finance from Macquarie University.

Edmund Tang - Economist and Head of Benchmark Research

Edmund Tang

Edmund Tang is the author of Austrade’s flagship annual publication, Why Australia Benchmark Report. He also produces a series of Data Alerts and Investor updates that are designed to update, revise and support the key messages of the Benchmark Report.

Prior to joining Austrade in 2008, Edmund was Senior Economist at Efic (1998-00) and the Head of Research – financial services team in Invest Australia and Axiss Australia (2001-08). Edmund previously held several key research roles in private sectors: deputy Head of Research/senior regional economist – Fixed Income and Currency Unit – in Chase Securities (now part of JP Morgan Chase, 1993-97, Hong Kong); and research economist in ANZ Banking Group (1985-93, Melbourne).

Edmund’s other achievements include Austrade’s Client Service Award (2010), the Federal Government Financial Services Medallion (2006), Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship (1998), University Medal (top of the first-class Honours student, 1985) and Australian and New Zealand Economics Prize (1984).

Edmund speaks English, Chinese Mandarin, Cantonese, Hainamese and Vietnamese.

Tim Quinn - Economist

Tim Quinn

Tim joined Economics at Austrade in October 2015 following a secondment to the Department of Communications as Executive Advisor (Statistical Analysis). Prior to that Tim led Tourism Research Australia’s Strategic Research and Analysis Team focussing on areas such as economic contribution, indicator development, forecasting, productivity, and investment.

Tim was a Quantitative Analyst for the Commonwealth Bank with a focus on agricultural risk; his public sector experience includes positions at the Department of Education and Employment, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and the Department of Resources, Energy, and Tourism.

Tim led the supply-side audit of Australia’s national tourism strategy, Tourism 2020. He is the 'go to' person for economic and statistical advice relating to the ‘Visitor Economy’, covering education, tourism, health and related services sectors. He brings to Austrade extensive experience quantifying and analysing Australia’s services trade and investment profile.

He is a member of the International Institute of Forecasters. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (finance, economics) graduating with the Australian Institute of Banking and Finance Prize. Tim has a Master of Applied Statistics (econometrics, probability) from the Australian National University.

Divya Skene - Economist

Divya Skene

Divya’s research at Austrade focuses on Australia’s bilateral trade and investment relationship with major trading partners. This includes trends in goods and services trade, two-way investment and the profile and perceptions of Australian companies doing business in key markets.

Divya brings an operational perspective to her analysis having previously worked in international business development with businesses and industry stakeholders. Before joining Austrade, Divya worked in the private sector with IMA Asia and Asean Focus Group, and in economic teams at the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, and the Department of Industry in Canberra. Between 2005 and 2009 Divya was a national executive member of the Australia India Business Council.

Divya holds a degree in Economics (Asian Studies) from the University of NSW, and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.