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March 25, 2004
  Contact: Victoria Park
(202) 482-3809

Bush Administration Official Talks Iraqi Reconstruction with
Michigan Businesses in Dearborn

William H. Lash, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance and Chairman of the Iraq and Afghanistan Investment and Reconstruction Task Force today in Michigan told more than 72 businesses of the Greater Detroit Metropolitan Area they should consider opportunities for doing business in Iraq.

"Iraq has taken great strides toward creating opportunities for foreign investment," Lash said. "Iraq and Afghanistan present some of the greatest economic opportunities of our time. Companies need to take a hard look at the emerging opportunities."

During the seminar, Lash noted that Congress has approved $18.6 billion for Iraq reconstruction and that the business climate in that country is steadily improving. Lash said key sectoral opportunities in Iraq include road and highway construction, telecommunications, general construction, healthcare, energy, environmental technologies and more. In addition, he provided an overview of contract and subcontract information, business travel in Iraq, working with Iraqi companies and how area companies can get firsthand information on current contracts through resources such as www.export.gov/iraq.

"The World Trade Organization's approval of Iraq's observer status symbolizes the global community's confidence in Iraq," Lash continued. "For the business community this shows that Iraq is moving towards a transparent and predictable marketplace."

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