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FTA and the ICT industry.



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AIIA Media Release Leading the ICT business community

For immediate release: 9 February 2004

FTA and the ICT industry

AIIA today welcomed the announcement of the Australia US Free Trade Agreement, but is holding back detailed judgment until the full text of the agreement is released.

During the FTA negotiation period, AIIA raised several issues affecting the ICT industry including government procurement, intellectual property, e-commerce and movement of people. All these issues are dealt with in the FTA.

The announcement regarding government procurement appears positive. Australian firms will have full access to all US Federal Government contracts over $US58,550. AIIA applauds the retention of Australian SME preferences, but waits for further details regarding its operation.

AIIA urges Australian Governments to remove inhibitors to SMEs doing business with Government to ensure that SMEs will have strong reference sites in order to take advantage of the new and lucrative US market access arrangements.

The Association flagged that changes to industry development arrangements may be necessary in order to access the US procurement market. We believe the benefits of admission to the US Government procurement market far outweigh any advantages the Australian industry may accrue through ID requirements.

Given the already broad access US firms enjoy to the Australian Government market, AIIA views the procurement developments in the FTA as positive.

Regarding intellectual property, the agreement recognises Australia's world class IP regime. AIIA awaits further details regarding what is envisaged in

Rob Durie Chief Executive Officer Ph: 02 6281 9413 E: r.durie@aiia.com.au

James McAdam General Manager - Strategy and Policy Services Ph: 02 6281 9408 E: j.mcadam@aiia.com.au Industry Development, Investment, Broadband, Media, WA Government

Peter Devenish General Manager - Membership and Business Services Ph: 02 6281 9402 E: p.devenish@aiia.com.au Membership, Business Development, Salary Survey, Products

Kathryn Lawrence National Marketing Manager Ph: 02 6281 9403 E: k.lawrence@aiia.com.au Marketing, Public Relations, Branding, Communications

Brooke Pettit Marketing Coordinator Ph: 02 6281 9414 E: b.pettit@aiia.com.au National and Branch Event Management including iAwards and Software Showcase

Joe O'Connor Membership Coordinator Ph: 02 6281 9407 E: j.oconnor@aiia.com.au Membership Management

Laurie Ffrench Policy Manager Ph: 02 6281 9410 E: l.ffrench@aiia.com.au Local Industry, Tax, R&D, Health, VIC Government.

Michel Hedley Policy Manager Ph: 02 9568 6601 E: m.hedley@aiia.com.au Workforce Supply,

terms of greater harmonisation of Australian and US IP laws.

In terms of the e-commerce provision, AIIA was keen to ensure that no greater barriers were created for electronic trade and that products were treated equally, regardless of the media on which they are carried. AIIA awaits further detail before we can more fully respond.

Finally, greater flexibility for the movement of people is suggested in the trade in services between the two nations. Given the cost and delays in obtaining visas, any improvement in this area would be welcome and AIIA awaits further clarification in the text.

AIIA Chief Executive, Rob Durie said, “While the final text will provide far greater clarity for the ICT industry, the information we have received today indicates that many of the industry's key concerns are reflected in the Australia US FTA.”

ENDS

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Rob Durie, Chief Executive Officer, AIIA Ph: 02 6281 9413, Mobile: 0410 582 713

AIIA - Leading the ICT Business Community

Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Ph: +61 2 6281 9414 Fx: +61 2 6285 1408 www.aiia.com.au 10-12 Campion Street, Deakin ACT 2605, ABN: 19 008 568 036

AIIA assists the ICT industry to meet its business objectives, locally and globally in corporate and government markets. Together, we set the strategic direction of our industry. We influence public policy, engage industry stakeholders and provide our members with business productivity tools, advisory services and market intelligence to accelerate their business growth.

AIIA is Host Association for CeBIT Australia (Sydney, 4-6 May 2004)

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Education and Training, Immigration, Health, NSW Government

Bridget Larsen Policy Manager Ph: 02 6281 9412 E: b.larsen@aiia.com.au Government Procurement, Legal and Intellectual Property, Privacy, Security, ACT and NT Governments

Larissa Shashkof Policy Manager Ph: 02 6281 9439 E: l.shashkof@aiia.com.au Corporate Social Responsibility, Environment, Technical Standards, Digital Divide and Indigenous Australians, SA Government

Angus Cole Policy Advisor Ph: 02 6281 9415 E: a.cole@aiia.com.au Export, Trade, International Affairs, Overseas Associations, Queensland Government

John Gifford Financial Controller Ph: 02 6281 9409 E: j.gifford@aiia.com.au Financial and Office Management

Michelle Bormann Executive Assistant Ph: 02 6281 9413 E: m.bormann@aiia.com.au Assistant to Rob Durie, CEO

Emily Lewis Marketing Administrator Ph: 02 6281 9401 E: e.lewis@aiia.com.au Marketing and Event Support.