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Biggest Meet the Buyer event opens the door for local SMEs looking to grow jobs

Wednesday, 08 November 2017

Details of key State Government building and construction projects will be presented to 460 South Australian business taking part in today’s largest ever Meet the Buyer event.

Industry participation in government contracting is now a critical consideration for all areas of State Government expenditure focusing on local jobs and local supply input. 

This morning’s exhibition-style event at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre is a chance for businesses to meet senior State Government project and contract managers for briefings on specific current project opportunities, as well as future projects.

The new South Australian Product Register, developed by the Office of the Industry Advocate will also be unveiled today. The register includes an SA-made product rating, showcases local firms and will also help architects and designers specify products with high SA content.

Approximately 96 per cent of South Australian businesses are small to medium sized and many have the capacity to be involved in government contracts which creates business and jobs growth.


The Meet the Buyer program, run by the Office of the Industry Advocate, continues to be a popular forum for businesses wanting get in front of senior project and contract managers from State Government agencies. At Meet the Buyer events businesses hear what it takes to win government projects, either as a direct or subcontractor.

Local businesses meet key government staff with responsibility for the design of projects, sourcing business solutions and purchasing goods and services.  The State’s Parliament recently passed an Industry Advocate Act, signalling its commitment to supporting competitive local businesses. The Industry Participation Policy has also been revised to require that project design and technical specifications provide suppliers employing South Australians – or those who have invested in this State – with more opportunities to win supply contracts or sub-contracts.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Martin Hamilton-Smith

Currently, local products, materials and labour make up about 80 per cent of State Government goods and services contracts and around 90 per cent of major infrastructure projects.

Since 2015, the proportion of State Government goods and services contracts awarded to South Australian suppliers has increased from 65 per cent to about 80 per cent. This increase creates an additional $230 million in annual economy activity in South Australia.

I have seen first hand how successful the Meet the Buyer events have been and this new Product Rating system developed by the Industry Advocate adds another dimension to the program.

I encourage any local business, employing South Australians, making a product, assembling a product, supplying, distributing or installing a product, to get in touch with the Office of the Industry Advocate and register their interest.