Dear Members and Friends,
Earlier this week, I joined a Chatham House event where the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss set out the UK’s her strategic intent on building a “network of liberty” around the world and emphasised that the UK will be “unashamedly commercial” in its outlook. During the Q&A she also confirmed her support for the return to 0,7% international development spend, when the country is in a fiscal position to do so. The Foreign Secretary also pointed to some key areas of focus for UK foreign policy which included building new economic partnerships with low- and middle-income countries, supporting programmes on women and girls, contributing to the global humanitarian efforts, supporting freedom and democracy and driving the UK to be a leader in technologies of the future. We and our members look forward to exploring these areas in more detail in the new year.
This week, we hosted an event focused on Infrastructure Opportunities in Jamaica. In partnership with the Caribbean Council and in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica investment promotions agency (JAMPRO), we heard from UK Ambassador to Jamaica HE Judith Slater, with an additional presentation focused on the infrastructure sector and a ‘fireside-chat’ with representatives from the Development Bank of Jamaica and the National Water Commission. We heard about how Jamaica will be privatising part of their railway and building a new high security prison for 5000 inmates. We also heard about their development plans for their national water fund.
We were pleased to host a panel discussion on the ICAI Report — UK Aid’s Alignment with the Paris Agreement which has since received the FCDO’s response. The recent ICAI report findings published in October 2021 suggested that a “more ambitious approach is required for the alignment of UK aid with the Paris Agreement”. The FCDO accepted all the recommendations from the review whose findings were presented to participants by ICAI Chief Commissioner Tamsyn Barton. There was a suggestion that there was a need for greater coordination and accountability to ensure alignment across the different government departments that are responsible for ODA spending.
This week, building on the success of our Climate Change Working Groups, we convened a group of members exploring the establishment of a Climate Finance. Whilst the Terms of Reference for the group are still to be agreed, there were suggestions that the group would be able to provide a platform for networking, sharing knowledge and experience, articulating what the UK offer is, exploring and leveraging public/private sources of climate finance and more. Members interested in the group can reach out to Joe McLynn to register their interest and we will follow up in the new year as we start to crystalise the direction and activities of the group.
Heading into next week, on Tuesday 14th December, we are looking forward to our virtual Trade Envoy Roundtable with Marco Longhi MP, the UK’s Trade Envoy to Brazil. Brazil offers the chance to build a hub in Latin America, a region offering a wide range of opportunities for UK companies in sectors such as Infrastructure, the Maritime industry and Clean Energy. Members will get an opportunity to discuss their priorities in the region & explore how the Trade Envoy can support UK Businesses.
This will be our last event of 2021. Next week I will detail the plans we already have in place for the early part of 2022, but I wanted to take a moment to thank all our speakers, attendees and our staff for helping make our series of events in 2021 so rich in quality, content and debate. Like many of you, I think the phrase I have heard more often than anything in the last 12 months is ‘You are still on mute….’.
As we head towards Christmas, I hope that your personal plans are not adversely affected by the actions being taken to protect us and that you and your families remain healthy.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
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Currently most of our events are hosted virtually and we are starting to explore face to face and hybrid event options as the government eases socialising restrictions. For any event registration support please contact the events team. Click on titles to access full event details. The full calendar of events can be viewed here and recently added event dates are highlighted with an asterisk*.
14th December — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Marco Longhi
13th January* — Project Acquisition Software — DevelopmentAid
18th January* — Lunch with UK Export Finance CEO Louis Taylor
19th January* — The FCDO & Global Health Priorities
27th January — Doing Business & Opportunities with the EBRD
External News & Events
9th - 11th December- The UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is running their ‘In the Future… How will we Learn?’ event programme. Hosted at the UK Pavilion, these events will convene a range of international experts and ministers and explore some of the most pressing educational issues of the day. Further information on the ‘How will we Learn?’ programme at the UK Pavilion can be found here
21st — 25th February — The UK-SG Innovation Partnership Series — Smart Cities, Green Tech, and Circular Economy- The UK Department for International Trade (DIT), in collaboration with the UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) and Tech Nation, welcomes innovative UK tech companies in smart cities, green tech, and the circular economy to participate in a virtual trade mission to Singapore commencing 21 February 2022. Apply to participate here.
25th — 29th April — Spatial analysis in QGIS and R — An Introduction for Environmental Scientists.There is an Early Bird discount is valid until 17 December, 3 pm, thereafter £50 more. Running over four half-day sessions, this hands-on and interactive online course will give you an introduction to spatial data analysis in an open-source environment. The course will focus on the use of QGIS and R as well as providing a theoretical background to working with spatial data and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). For more information click here and to sign up and pay online click here.
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Image Attribution: 08/12/2021. London, United Kingdom. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss gives a speech on Foreign Policy at Chatham House in London. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street. View image on Flickr.com