The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
FORMER MINISTER FOR TRADE

Media Release

Sunday, 6 April 2003 - MVT31/2003

Iraq Humanitarian Relief and Reconstruction Work

The Australian Government is actively working to ensure Australian companies will participate in providing humanitarian relief and helping to rebuild Iraq once the current military conflict comes to an end, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today.

"Australian companies are particularly well-positioned to make a significant contribution to post-war humanitarian relief and subsequent reconstruction in Iraq," Mr Vaile said. "Australia has a great deal of relevant expertise in relief and reconstruction, particularly in agribusiness, healthcare, sanitation and water supply, but also in construction, infrastructure and institutional development."

The US Administration has assured the Australian Government that Australian companies will be able to compete for sub-contracting opportunities on Iraq rehabilitation projects initially contracted to US firms. Up to half the funding through the United States Agency for International Development will be spent on sub-contractors, including those from other countries.

"Austrade is already exchanging information between US companies which have been awarded USAID contracts, and Australian companies which are interested in sub-contracting," Mr Vaile said. "Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are also working closely with chambers of commerce and relevant industry associations, to ensure their members are kept informed about reconstruction and development work."

Australian companies interested in participating in rehabilitation work in Iraq may now register online with Austrade. The online registration process is part of Austrade's strategy to ensure Australian companies with expertise and experience in such projects are kept informed of developments and given assistance to participate in post-war Iraq's reconstruction.

"We welcome further expressions of interest by Australian companies with relevant expertise and experience, by registering online at www.austrade.gov.au," Mr Vaile said.

Contact: Matthew Doman (02) 6277 7420

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