BEI Weekly Update
Oct 13, 2023

BEI Weekly Update —  13th October 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

This week it has again been a pleasure to meet more BEI members, to hear about the impressive range of work you are doing around the world and the partnerships you have built and – of course most importantly from my point of view – to understand how our team is supporting your businesses and what more we can do to ensure that we are delivering tangible value for you. Value comes in many different forms and I am grateful to all who are helping me with the learning process!  Please keep the ideas coming.

It's a cliché that much innovation comes from the intersection of different areas of human endeavour. It’s as true for the sectors we work in as it is in science and medicine, and our members clearly have the creativity to put innovation to positive use in many different environments. Another excellent example this week was the next in our series of virtual events, this time on the intersection of climate and education.   We are very grateful to the organisers, the Education and Development Trust, the British Council and FHI 360. Once again, we heard about opportunities as well as challenges. Climate change can put great pressure on education, requiring enhanced resilience but, at the same time, education can make a big contribution to climate change mitigation. Thank you to all those who contributed practical examples of what can be done to make a positive difference.

Our other virtual event this week focused on some of the vital practical considerations for those delivering programmes in Ukraine. The session covered contracting, security and risk, and insurance. These are all key to successful programmes and all areas in which (to coin a phrase) British expertise can contribute. Thank you very much to our members Beale & Co and Spearfish for their input, and also to insurance specialists WTW. This week’s blog, in a joint blog by Alexandra with Eliza Keogh of our sister organisation, British Foreign Policy Group, we look at how these very practical elements contribute towards the delivery of the UK’s big aid goals in Ukraine. Members with questions on any of these issues should of course feel free to get in touch and we will be glad to make any useful introductions.

Next week will again see a full programme, kicking off early with our International Development Heads of Business group meeting with Nick Dyer, Second Permanent Secretary at FCDO and the most senior UK official responsible for international development. After the changes of recent years and with a White Paper in prospect, we look forward to hearing Nick’s thoughts on how FCDO is moving forward the development agenda. Similarly, we will be hearing from Pippa Bird, the Development Director for Nepal who will present on FCDO's development strategy for the country as well as their pipeline of opportunities. We will also be hosting a session exploring the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework and how companies and financial institutions can further integrate nature into decision making.

In the meantime, warm wishes for a (in the UK at least) what looks to be a cooler weekend,

David Landsman

Executive Chairman  

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 17th October 2023 10:15-11:15 BST: FCDO Development Director Series: Nepal - Join us as we host Pippa Bird, the Development Director in Nepal for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Nepal.
  • 17th October 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures - Join us at 23 Grafton Street or virtually as we showcase the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework. If joining in person, please feel free to arrive from 14:30 for tea/coffee/networking. If you are joining us virtually, the Teams link for the 15:00-16:00 meeting will be shared with you following registration.
  • 19th October 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Operational Sustainability - In the time of climate crisis, it is paramount that businesses continuously evaluate and improve sustainability within all of their activities. Our panel will discuss how organisations can understand, assess, improve and communicate their environmental sustainability at the operational level, taking into account the international policy landscape and regulation, and building the business case for sustainability.
  • 23rd October 2023 09:00-16:30 BST: Engaging with USAID - UK Partners Day - Join us for BEI’s Series of events engaging with USAID. We are delighted to be joined for a one-day event by 4 senior representatives from USAID as well as welcoming back Mike Shanley from Konektid International. Our speakers will run 2 panel discussions in the morning followed by afternoon break out sessions and 1-1 sessions which can be booked by members individually with each of the speakers.
  • 24th October 2023 10:00-11:00 BST: Morocco Education Deep Dive with the Department for Business and Trade - Join us for a deep dive into the education opportunities in Morocco. Leading on from BEI’s Ambassador Series, we are following up with a deep dive into the education opportunities in Morocco led by the Department of Business and Trade where representatives will provide us with an insight into the key education priorities for the UK looking to do business in Morocco.
  • 25th October 2023 16:00-18:30 BST: International Day of The Girl - Join us for an evening reception and learning panel discussion to commemorate the International Day of the Girl. We will be joined by Alicia Herbert OBE, FCDO Director of Education, Gender and Equalities and the UK’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality, as well as colleagues from the Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC). We will discuss the role played by Women’s Rights Organisations (WRO’s) within the GEC and will celebrate the partnership’s impact.
  • 26th October 2023 09:00-14:00 BST: UK-Armenia Business Forum - Join the UK-Armenia Business Forum at 23 Grafton Street, with senior participation from the Ministry of Economy of Armenia as part of the visiting delegation. The agenda includes an overview of the economy and ease of doing business, as well as deep-dives on current opportunities in energy, infrastructure, logistics and technology.
  • 26th October 2023 15:00-19:30 BST: Water Resilience Working Group Launch - Join us at 23 Grafton Street as we launch a new working group stream focusing on Water Resilience. Alongside some of the steering group’s members, we will provide an overview of the new working group’s aims and objectives and offer a platform for member discussion of our plans for the first 6 months and the group’s potential outputs. The panel discussion will be followed by a networking reception.
  • 31st October 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Intersection of Climate Change and Conflict Prevention - The BEI ‘Intersections with Climate Change’ series continues with an event focusing on the key intersection of Climate Change and Conflict Prevention. Our panel will discuss how their organisations are adapting their approach in response to climate change across their programmes and interventions relating to the intersection of climate change and conflict prevention.
  • 1st November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Bangladesh - Join us as we host Matt Cannell, the Development Director in Bangladesh for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Bangladesh.
  • 1st November 2023 16:00-18:30 GMT: Education Working Group: Soft Power - Join us for our quarterly in-person Education Working Group in November, focusing on Soft Power. This session will be run by our sister organisation, British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG), and will discuss the contribution of the Education Sector to the UK’s Soft Power proposition, as well as the ways in which the education sector can leverage its positioning internationally.
  • 2nd November 2023 10:00-11:00 GMT: Resolving Trade Barriers in Eastern Europe & Central Asia - Join us online to learn about the UK government’s approach to resolving barriers to trade in Eastern Europe & Central Asia, to gain a deeper understanding of the UK Trade Programme and to start new conversations on the challenges and solutions of market access in the region.
  • 6th November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Azerbaijan - Market Opportunity Overview - Azerbaijan has made significant political and regulatory reforms which have increased the attractiveness and competitiveness of the country. With the biggest airport, seaport and railway network in the region, Azerbaijan is a logistics hub for the Caspian region and a crucial element in the Middle Corridor. This webinar will cover specific project opportunities in infrastructure, green energy, security, agriculture, healthcare, IT and education.
  • 8th November 2023 09:00-10:30 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Rwanda - Join us as we host Anna Wilson, the Development Director in Rwanda for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Rwanda.
  • 8th November 2023 15:00 for 15:30-17:00 GMT, followed by networking drinks - Climate Finance Report Launch - This paper frames challenges in mobilising climate finance in terms of system-level barriers – relating to the quantity and quality of climate finance, as well as systems and distribution channels used to deliver climate finance – and country-level barriers – relating to the policy, institutional, capacity, transparency and accountability structures in recipient countries as well as the maturity of a pipeline of investments.
  • 14th November 2023 16:00-17:30 GMT: UK International Development Strategy Round Table with Melinda Bohannon - Join us for an in-person round table on the UK’s International Development Strategy, with an address from Guest of Honour, Melinda Bohannon, interim Director General, Humanitarian and Development at the FCDO. Melinda will speak on the UK’s International Development Strategy and address key priorities for the UK in delivering Humanitarian Aid in the context of the broader humanitarian agenda for the FCDO.
  • 15th November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Syria - Join us as we host Peter McDermot, the Development Director in Syria for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Syria.
  • 22nd November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Challenges and Solutions for Profit Repatriation in African Markets - For multinational organisations operating in Africa, the repatriation of profits can be a challenge in some markets due to currency volatility, foreign exchange controls, economic instability, and regulatory restrictions. Join us as our panel explores some of these complex challenges, and hear from some of the organisations who can help companies navigate them.

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 18th October 2023: British Water Industry Summit - The UK Water Partnership together with British Water, UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), the Future Water Association, the Water Industry Forum and Spring are co-hosting a Water Industry Summit to shape a collective response to the current challenges to the Water Industry.
  • 29th October-2nd November 2023: Egypt Energy Conference and Trade Mission - The UK’s Department for Business & Trade cordially invites you to join our delegation of UK companies under our pavilion at the ‘Egypt Energy’ in Cairo. Egypt Energy is a conference and exhibition for the continent’s most influential clean growth stakeholders. It aims to drive policies; promote innovation and stimulate deals that will position UK business ahead as Africa takes more steps towards sustainable energy.
  • 18th-19th November 2023: Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference, London - Network with a group of seasoned international executives, businesspeople, academia and government officials from Guyana and learn about business opportunities in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in sectors such as energy, technology, healthcare, education, and manufacturing.

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