Aust information industry group welcomes Bush re-election

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is looking forward to the implementation of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) after the re-election of US president George W. Bush.

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is looking forward to the implementation of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) after the re-election of US president George W. Bush.

AIIA chief executive officer, Rob Durie, said Bush's re-election will guarantee that the AUSFTA will go through without hassle. He expects the AUSFTA will be implemented by January next year.

"Obviously some details still need to be sorted out but my expectations is that the agreement will start on January," Durie said.

He added that Bush's return to power is "probably a positive thing for the Australian IT industry" since the FTA would have been held up if there was a change of administration.

"In general, we expect it to be a positive impact to the FTA and Australia. We are guaranteed a better access to the US market," Durie said.

However, Durie added that they are still pressing for the agreement to include the movement of IT workers to the US.

"The FTA is good for IT companies looking to export particularly to the US government. However, we are still pressing for the inclusion of the movement of individual workers as well. To a minor degree, not including IT employers in the FTA agreement is a backward step. We will need to take this matter up outside the FTA," Durie told ZDNet Australia.

The AIIA previously expressed its satisfaction with the FTA saying key areas of the agreement "were reasonably content." Under the agreement, Australia will be given access to the AU$200 billion US ICT market under US laws.

Durie advised ICT companies as well as IT workers to join seminars and workshops on discussions about how to sell their products and services to the US market in preparation for the AUSFTA.

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