10 Nov 2017

BCB International sets benchmark for Welsh international business

Government Minister Guto Bebb has paid tribute to BCB International during a visit to the company’s Cardiff-based manufacturing facility in recognition of its success exporting life-saving defence equipment across the globe.

Minister Bebb met with Andrew Howell, Managing Director of BCB International, to discuss the manufacturer’s efforts to branch out into foreign markets and develop brand new products for military use worldwide.

“Businesses like BCB International are reaching out to international markets and putting Wales on the map,” said Minister Bebb. “It goes to show that a little Welsh innovation goes a long way – saving and protecting the lives of those hundreds and thousands of miles away, in often challenging and hostile environments.

“There has never been a better time for Welsh companies like BCB to seize the moment and start exporting to new markets and the UK Government is standing by ready to support that aspiration.”

BCB International outfits armed forces with indispensable equipment – body armour, first aid kits and camping supplies and the like. The organisation exports 40% to 50% of its products, mainly to the US, Middle East and European markets, and has a turnover of almost £9M.

This year the Welsh supplier has won new business from customers including the Canadian Defence Force (camouflage face paint), and the French (fire resistant gloves) and Dutch armies (camp beds).

According to Andrew Howell: “Wales is already an exporting nation. There are currently more than 3,800 businesses in Wales that export, with a combined value of £13Bn in the first quarter of 2017. Wales is also an attractive place for inward investment, with latest figures showing that 85 foreign direct investment projects were secured in Wales, creating 2,581 new jobs and safeguarding almost 9,000 more.”

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has recently produced an exporting guide, which outlines the full range of support available from the UK Government and contains case studies about Wales-based companies that are exporting successfully.

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