australia in line for big contracts - abc online

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    The Trade Minister, Mark Vaile, leaves for the United States this morning, heading a delegation of Australian businesses vying to be part of the multi billion-dollar reconstruction effort in Iraq.

    The delegation will meet with the US Agency for International Development, and with American companies which have won major reconstruction contracts.

    Australian businesses in agriculture, power water and sanitation, building, and education are represented.

    Many already operate in the Middle East.

    There is already European tension over the mass of US aid money going to American companies, but the Minister does not believe that will be heightened if Australian companies are successful.

    "Were talking about billions worth of dollars of US aid being injected into the rehabilitation if Iraq," he said.

    "Of course the majority of the prime contracts are going to go to American companies."

    "Those American companies then have the ability to subcontract up to 50 per cent of that work to non-US companies, and that is where the Australian companies want to compete."

    Despite some media reports in the United States, Mark Vaile says there is no official US policy to favour Australian or British tenders.

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    Interesting that American media are suggesting Australia and Britain will receive favoured treatment.
    Mark Vaille diplomatically denies it, of course. wink wink.

    Dave R.

 
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