The agreement allows us to continue to provide Australian companies with access to commercial and defence opportunities within BAE Systems international business. In 2016, we had contracts with over 24,000 suppliers and a global spend of almost £9bn. In Australia our supply-chain consists of over 1,600 companies purchasing goods worth $360M, generating an additional GDP contribution of $210M.
BAE Systems Australia has one of the nation’s largest defence supply chains and a long and successful history of working closely with Australian suppliers, to open up both local and international opportunities. Since its inception in 2012, our Global Access Program has recorded a number of export successes for Australian businesses including military vehicle restraint systems, ship evacuation equipment, precision components for the aerospace sector, armored steel and various software analysis tools. 15 Australian businesses have directly benefitted from the Global Access Program by securing export contracts and over 100 companies have taken advantage of various training programs, overseas trade missions, and international networking events facilitated by the program.
In further demonstration of our commitment to support Australian industry we are also pleased to confirm our commitment to the Australian Small Business Supplier Payment Code launched by the Business Council of Australia. A voluntary, industry-led initiative that recognises the importance of prompt and on-time payment for suppliers and the need for a set of best practice standards.
Prompt and on-time of payment is particularly important for small business suppliers, as it means better cash flow and working capital which strengthens their viability and ability to grow and create jobs. It is in the long-term interest of everyone, including purchasing businesses and governments, to have a viable and productive small business supplier base.
Glynn Phillips, BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, said:
“The diversity of our Australian business across air, land and sea means we are well placed to identify opportunities in the global business and match those with competitive local companies.
“Opening the door to international opportunities supports the growth of and helps to sustain Australia’s defence industry.
“Success for Australia’s industry works to promote innovation, improve our ability as a nation to compete globally and generate exports and jobs.”