BEI Weekly Update - 1st March 2024

Dear Members and Friends,

Last week, I talked about the crucial interaction between domestic and foreign policy. This interaction plays out also in the way in which the Government’s international engagement is no longer confined to the obvious “foreign” departments such as FCDO and DBT. As a result, we at BEI are increasingly working with a number of “home” departments that have international objectives (and budgets).  

With this in mind, we are looking forward to the first event in this year’s Climate Finance programme, following the launch of our report last November. The event, on 13 March, will be on “Mobilising Private Climate Finance” and we are delighted that we will be joined by Peter Batten, Head of Capability Building and Action, International Climate Finance at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). The emphasis will be on using the broad spectrum of capacity-building programmes to create a coherent and logical end-to-end service for mobilising finance, including G2G engagement, investment in concessional finance vehicles, sharing experience on legislative/regulatory/technical reform to remove barriers to investment, developing pipelines of bankable low-carbon climate resilient projects and, of course, working with the private sector. Alongside Peter on the panel will be a stellar cast of BEI members:  James Naughton, Head of Development Finance, and Investment at DAI; Phil Marker, Principal Consultant at Oxford Policy Management; and Virginie Fayolle, Technical Director, Climate Finance at Mott MacDonald.

Last week, I mentioned the World Water Tech Innovation Summit, where Alexandra and a number of BEI members played an important role. If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a look at Alexandra’s blog.

Meanwhile, the Skills and Training Working Group will hold its next meeting on 20th March, at which Luisa, together with Jonathan Ledger, DBT’s Technical and Vocational Education & Training Skills and Professional Bodies Specialist, will present in more detail the opportunities in SE Asia which were showcased during the DBT trade mission in January, with a particular focus on opportunities in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Continuing the emphasis on SE Asia, I’d like to highlight an online event which DBT are organising in preparation for when CPTPP enters into force for the UK later this year.  This event, on Wednesday 6 March at 0800-0930, will focus on the UK-Malaysia benefits under the Trade in Goods arrangements and be led by DBT colleagues based in Malaysia and the UK. The programme and registration form are here.

Our events next week include a session on Tuesday on Transport Infrastructure for the 2030 World Cup in Morocco, at which we will be joined by colleagues from DBT and UKEF to speak about the opportunities for UK businesses in the transport sector as well as provide an overview of the infrastructure landscape in Morocco as a whole leading up to the 2030 World Cup.

On Wednesday, I’m delighted that we will be joined by Professor Eric Herring from Bristol University who will be discussing the role of the private sector in international development. I’ve heard Eric speak recently on this theme, when he described some of his work in Somalia, and I’m sure that members will find this session both inspiring and very timely.

On Thursday, there’ll be an online session on Disaster Risk Reduction, with presentations from specialists at the Caribbean Development Bank, Practical Action, Resurgence and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Going by the number of registrations so far, this looks to be a highly popular event.

If you’ve visited us in person, I’m sure you will have noticed how many different activities take place in Grafton Street. One of those is the Future Leaders Group, designed for tomorrow’s senior leaders in our members’ and stakeholders’ organisations from public and private sectors. With the current programme drawing to a close with a finale at Sandhurst (!), there are still a few places remaining for our next cohort, starting on 5 June. Do consider whether you have a future leader on your team who could benefit. You can find out more about the Future Leaders Group on their website, on their LinkedIn page, or by contacting Programme Director, Olivier Beroud

To end as I began, it’s globalisation that has brought foreign and domestic policy so close. So to finish, here’s a recommendation for some weekend – equally accessible and insightful – reading: “Goodbye Globalization” by Elisabeth Braw (Yale University Press, 2024). Elisabeth tells the story of the last 35 years or so of globalisation through people whose lives were made by it: as pioneers, winners, losers, advocates and sceptics. She then offers some thoughts about the future, perhaps more optimistic than one might imagine at this particularly challenging moment in our history. I hope you enjoy – and do take a look at my review for BFPG.

Have a relaxing – but enlightening – weekend,

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 5th March 2024 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. GMT: Transport Infrastructure - World Cup 2030, Morocco. As Morocco prepares to co-host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, there is huge space for UK businesses to collaborate on exciting new projects across the infrastructure landscape. This workshop will provide detail on Transport opportunities.
  • 6th March 2024 09:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. GMT: Education Working Group: The UK is well known for its expertise in education consultancy services: in much of the world “British education” is synonymous with quality. This group enables better collaborative engagement between members, HMG and other key stakeholders. The BEI Education Working Group is now working on the much-awaited Education report on System Strengthening, to be launched in May 2024.
  • 7th March 2024 15:00 p.m. - 16:30 p.m. GMT: Disaster Risk Reduction. Our speakers from the Caribbean Development Bank, Practical Action, Resurgence and UNDRR will draw on their experience to provide an overview of the challenges and some of the solutions their organisations are working on within Disaster Risk Management. 
  • 13th March 2024 15:00 p.m. - 16:30 p.m. GMT: Mobilising Private Climate Finance - The urgency and scale of the climate crisis calls for an unprecedented transformation to the ways we produce, move and consume. One of the key challenges in this endeavor is the need to make climate finance accessible and to mobilise private climate finance in order to support a systemic transition to low carbon and climate resilient development pathways.
  • 14th March 2024 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. GMT: Intersection of Climate Change, Gender-Based Violence and other Harmful Practices - Women and girls can be disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis as it serves to intensify pre-existing inequalities. Our panel will showcase how they are adapting their approach in the nexus of climate change, gender-based violence and other harmful practices.
  • 14th March 2024 14:00 p.m. - 15:00 p.m. GMT: FCDO Development Director: South Sudan - Join us as we host Kobi Bentley, the Development Director in South Sudan for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in South Sudan.
  • 20th March 2024 9:30 - 10:30 GMT: Skills and Training Working Group: DBT Briefing - Southeast Asain Skills and Trade Mission - Our March Skills & Training Working Group will provide an overview from the Skills and Professional Bodies Trade Mission, organised by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) International Education Team, to Malaysia and Indonesia in January 2024. The mission showcased a wide range of opportunities that could provide export growth and partnership opportunities for UK suppliers in these dynamic markets.
  • 21st March 2024 16:00 p.m. - 19:00 p.m. GMT: Climate Change Working Group Networking Evening - Join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation, potential new partnerships, and the chance to meet with members of our Climate Change Working Group. Our keynote speaker is Charles Reeve, who specialises in preparing and financing infrastructure to build climate resilience for the economically disadvantaged.
  • 24th April 2024 16:00 p.m. - 17:30 p.m. BST: ICAI Review: International Climate Finance - A new review from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) assesses whether the UK is on track to meet its international climate finance commitments. Join Chief Commissioner Tamsyn Barton and other stakeholders to discuss the findings of the report and how UK aid can be used most effectively to meet this monumental global challenge.

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 6th March 2024: CPTPP Deep Dive Series: Trade in Goods: Join us to uncover how CPTPP is going to help UK businesses trade goods with Malaysia more easily. This will include how CPTPP reduces tariffs, what businesses need to know about meeting rules of origin requirements and how they can get goods tested more easily in the UK prior to export.
  • 31st March 2024: HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellows in South and Southeast Asia: A fellowship programme and alumni network for policymakers and organisation leaders to grow knowledge and skills to lead impactful education technology (EdTech) transformations in education systems across the world.
  • 30th April - 1st May 2024:Innovation Zero 2024 Agenda: Innovation and Leadership in the Low Carbon Transformation: Innovation Zero, the UK's largest sustainability conference, returns to London Olympia for the second edition on 30 April - 1 May 2024, alongside its new co-located event, Infrastructure Zero. Join our Director of Climate Resilience and Infrastructure, Alexandra Barnes, as she chairs a panel titled “The Future of Water: How we Advance Resilience in a Changing Climate” at Innovation Zero 2024.

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