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Australia forges new industry link with India

Australian Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today announced in India the formation of the Australia India Information Industries Business Network (AIIIBN).

The AIIIBN will be made up of Australian and Indian companies interested in cooperative trade and investment opportunities. Mr Neville Roach, Chairman of Fujitsu Australia, is the Convenor of the network, and Mr Lakshminarayanan, Joint Secretary, Indian Ministry of Information Technology, will be the Convenor of the equivalent Indian network.

"The focus of the Network will be to promote trade and investment linkages, for example by information sharing and activities such as business missions and seminars," Senator Alston said.

"It is intended that the Network be self sustaining and will use the Internet and email to share information and coordinate trade and investment activities."

The AIIIBN's online presence will be supported by the Australian Information Industry Association and National Association of Software and Services Companies.

"Australian ICT businesses will have the opportunity to network with businesses in the Indian ICT sector and create new commercial partnerships-over 200 Australian companies have expressed interest in joining the network so far," Senator Alston said.

The AIIIBN is a key feature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Concerning Cooperation in the Information Industries. The MOU was signed on 18 October 2000 by Australia's Minister for Trade, Mr Mark Vaile and the Indian Minister for Information Technology and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Pramod Mahajan, to encourage cooperation between Australian and Indian information industries.

"The MOU presents an opportunity to encourage mutually beneficial trade, investment and business collaboration. Both countries have emerging strengths in the information industries and look forward to enhancing business relationships, in these vital industries, through the AIIIBN," Senator Alston said.

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, is currently in India leading an ICT business mission to further enhance the relationship between Australia and India. During his visit he is formally launching both the Networks.

Further information can be found on the AIIIBN website at

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