BHP BILLITON NEWS RELEASE: BUILDING ON AUSTRALIA’S COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

3 October 2013

BHP Billiton today further outlined its productivity agenda to capitalise on the next phase of the Asian growth cycle.

Speaking at the Australian National Conference on Resources and Energy, BHP Billiton President, HSEC, Marketing and Technology, Mike Henry, said the commodities that would feed future China growth would require Australia’s resources industry to continue to improve its competitiveness.

“We see moderation in the rate of GDP growth in China, and a reduction in manufacturing and investment share over time, but it is really important to note that there is still an incredibly large opportunity to be captured from a commodity demand perspective.

“Commodity demand growth will remain robust as the fundamentals of wealth creation, demographics and urbanisation continue to drive demand for resources. However the shifting dynamics of economic growth will challenge Australia’s traditional understanding of core ‘commodities’.

“As China transitions to a more consumption based economy, and the level of ‘true’ urbanisation increases, we expect that commodities supporting the production of food, energy and consumer goods will see more durable demand growth over an extended part of the economic development curve.”

Mr Henry said it was critical industry and policy makers worked together to capitalise on these opportunities.

“We believe the vast majority of the productivity challenge lies with industry and it is incumbent on employers to create an environment that inspires people to work smarter and rewards productivity improvements.

“For BHP Billiton this means working our assets both ‘smarter’ and harder. Our concentrated effort to reduce operating costs and drive productivity improvements delivered a significant US$2.7 billion reduction in controllable cash costs in the 2013 financial year. We continue to identify process improvement opportunities across the business and we are
creating strong competition for capital,” he said.

Mr Henry highlighted that government also had a role in securing future investment – particularly in taxation and industrial relations policy and addressing duplication between state and federal regulatory obligations.
“To ensure Australian projects are not disadvantaged, tax policy should target reforms that deliver more competitive, sustainable taxation and help make the system more efficient and internationally competitive. Similarly we can reduce the burden of duplicated green tape processes while still maintaining the highest environmental standards,” he said.

“When it comes to industrial relations, BHP Billiton is an advocate for a framework that draws employees and employers onto the same page and allows for more direct employee engagement.”

Further information on BHP Billiton can be found at: www.bhpbilliton.com.

Media Relations

Australia

Emily Perry
Tel: +61 3 9609 2800 Mobile: +61 477 325 803
email: Emily.Perry@bhpbilliton.com

Fiona Hadley
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United Kingdom

Ruban Yogarajah
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Jennifer White
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email: Jennifer.White@bhpbilliton.com

Americas

Jaryl Strong
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email: Jaryl.Strong@bhpbilliton.com

Investor Relations

Australia

James Agar
Tel: +61 3 9609 2222 Mobile: +61 467 807 064
email: James.Agar@bhpbilliton.com

Andrew Gunn
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email: Andrew.Gunn@bhpbilliton.com

United Kingdom and South Africa

Tara Dines
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email: Tara.Dines@bhpbilliton.com

Americas

James Agar
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email: James.Agar@bhpbilliton.com

Matt Chism
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email: Matt.E.Chism@bhpbilliton.com

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