Australia gets a share of Iraq contracts
Trade Minister Mark Vaile will head a delegation of Australian companies to the US, keen to snare a slice of the billions of dollars to be spent rebuilding Iraq.
Mr Vaile and about 12 company representatives fly out on Sunday for talks in the US about securing contracts, led by the United States Agency for International Development, to rebuild post-war Iraq.
"A lot of those contracts have the ability to subcontract almost 50 per cent of that work and it will be very important to represent Australia in this process," Mr Vaile told the Nine Network.
The contracts are worth billions of dollars.
Australian companies being represented in the US next week were major players in the Middle East and some were active in Iraq ahead of the war, Mr Vaile said.
He said countries that invaded Iraq now had a responsibility to rebuild it and Australia would fulfil its obligations.
"There's an obvious and very strong and focused commitment by those countries to ensure that Iraq as a nation is rebuilt into the shape it should be in, it should have been in for the last 25 years and wasn't," Mr Vaile said.
Part of Australia's commitment of $100 million in direct aid for Iraq would be spent reviving Iraq's agricultural industries.
Mr Vaile said Australia wanted to get the rebuilding of Iraq underway as soon as possible.
"Countries like Australia that are putting their hands up now to provide resources, to provide money and to provide expertise to rebuild that country, we want to do that as quickly as we possibly can so that the Iraqi people can take control of their country," he said.
Trade talks will be held in Washington, Houston, Dallas and San Francisco.
Australia gets a share of Iraq contracts..............well deserved...
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