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Businesses seek aid to success

WESTERN Australian success in winning overseas aid contracts has spurred growing interest among local businesses.

Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan said more than 100 local organisations took part in a recent seminar on business opportunities with AusAID.

According to Department of Commerce and Trade figures, forty WA organisations shared more than $51 million worth of contracts in 1998-99 compared to a figure of less than $15 million in 1995-96.

“Local firms are becoming increasingly familiar with the workings of major agencies such as the World Bank, the Asian Dev-elopment Bank and United Nations organisations,” Mr Cowan said.

“The Department of Land Administration won a $1.4 million contract with the Asian Develop-ment Bank for land titling in Bangladesh while Advanced Energy Systems won a $3 million contract for utility communication systems in Indonesia.

“We have also attracted a greater share of AusAID projects that are likely to remain a major source of aid contracts. AusAID spends millions of dollars on development assistance programs each year in developing countries.

“Local businesses have been competitive in areas including health services, education and training, environmental management and governance,” he said.

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