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Small business opportunities in East Timor.



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Joint Statement

 

SENATOR PETER COOK

SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE

 

JOEL FITZGIBBON MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS

 

10 January 2000

Small Business Opportunities in East Timor

 

 

Australian small business must be given government assistance to win con tracts for rebuilding East Timor Shadow Trade Minister, Senator Peter Cook, and Shadow Minister for Small Business, Joel Fitzgibbon, said today.

 

Senator Cook and Mr Fitzgibbon have today written to their Government counterparts suggesting the establishment of a special one-off scheme based upon the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program. This initiative would enable small business to access contracts available through international economic institutions and the aid programs financing the reconstruction of East Timor.

 

“Most international aid schemes are monitored by international big business which are expert in winning the plum contracts. The work that will be available in rebuilding infrastructure, public buildings and housing is the sort of work Australian small business does efficiently and expertly,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

 

“Small contractors in Northern Australia understand the environmental conditions of East Timor. They are used to working in tropical conditions and building cyclone-proof housing. Their expertise would be well placed and provide Australian small businesses with international experience and an export culture within South-East Asia.”

 

“The EMDG program assists firms in overseas representation and provides reimbursement for part of the export marketing costs they incur. It recognises that, because of the overheads involved in pursuing overseas contracts, small businesses often need some assistance in the early stages,” Senator Cook said.

 

“An EMDG-style scheme, to operate for eighteen months, would enable small business to play its part in helping rebuild devastated East Timor.

 

“This program should be initiated immediately without waiting for the Budget.”

 

ENDS

 

For further information; please contact:

Andrew Leigh 0412 633 652 (Sen ator Cook)

Mark Arnold 0418 293 372 (Mr Fitzgibbon)

 

 

 

 

 

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