BEI Weekly Update
Apr 14, 2023

BEI Weekly Update — 14th April 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

Another short week as we head into a whole sequence of them. But, nonetheless,  a  productive one for the membership. Meetings continued for BEI management with a range of High Commissioners and Ambassadors from countries which the membership has identified as offering attractive opportunities. Of interest has been the mix of complementarity of strategic issues, combined with clear gaps and opportunities where these host nations feel the UK has real strengths and where HMG is placing emphasis. In particular, a paucity of training and skills needed to deliver energy transition/sustainability and net zero objectives is a recurring theme.  

Staying with the diplomatic theme, the annual BEI ‘Meet the Ambassador’ series is shaping up nicely with in excess of 50 UK High Commissioners and Ambassadors lining up for sessions from 5th June to 23rd June. This year the format will be evolving. The Covid-necessitated approach of fitting multiple geographically adjacent ambassadors into a shortish, on-line presentation is consigned to the past. There will be a return to a week of in-person events book-ended by two weeks of virtual events where logistics demand. The format will create more time to explore key issues and opportunities in each country, with a blend of country specific sessions and joint sessions with 2-3 countries at a time.

This week, we hosted an excellent panel event and reception on the Girls’ Education Challenge, a 12-year FCDO flagship programme. We were joined by the FCDO Girls’ Education Team as well as the alliance partners including Cambridge Education Mott MacDonald, Social Development Direct, PwC, Nathan Associates, and Tetra Tech.You can read Lara’s reflections on this event here.

Elsewhere across the Group, the growing focus for all members on supply chain resilience makes our think-tank's publication on Data Security within supply chains extremely relevant. The author, BFPG research fellow, Victoria Baines, is an acknowledged leading authority. An increasingly full BEI calendar is set out below. We all look forward to welcoming you here.

Warm regards,

Peter O’Kane  


British Expertise International/Strategy International

Recordings of recent past events:

  • Jordan, Iraq & Lebanon Education Deep Dive - We were joined by DBT for a deep dive into the education opportunities in Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon. They provided us with an insight into the key education priorities for UK plc looking to do business in the three countries.
  • Brazil - Opportunities in the Climate and Water Sectors - Brazil has some of the highest water availability in the world, but is unfortunately hindered by outdated WASH infrastructure and there is a lot of investment needed to bring access to water and sanitation to the whole population. However Lula’s ambitious plans and policies provide a wealth of interesting new opportunities, and the event identified several states which have now submitted their climate action plans and are now engaging on delivery.

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 18th April 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: Uzbekistan Infrastructure Opportunities - This virtual event will act as an opportunity for UK-based organisations and investors to learn about current infrastructure opportunities in Uzbekistan. British Expertise International is delighted to be joined by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in the UK, the UK Department for Business and Trade and UK Export Finance for the latest overview of the pipeline of opportunities in the country, and the support available to British companies.
  • 18th April 2023 16:00-18:00 BST: Roundtable with Mark Garnier, UK’s Trade Envoy to Viet Nam - Join us for an in-person roundtable with Mark Garnier, the United Kingdom’s Trade Envoy to Viet Nam who will provide members with his vision for Viet Nam as the newly appointed Trade Envoy. BEI members will also have the opportunity to share with Mark their business perspectives on Viet Nam.
  • 19th April 2023 16:00-18:30 BST: In conversation with Andrew Dunnett -  In-person roundtable meeting with Andrew Dunnett, Group Director of ESG, Sustainable Business and Foundations at Vodafone. Andrew will lead a discussion on the importance of ESG and private sector’s role in implementing impactful ESG programmes.
  • 20th April 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Understanding Climate Risks (Financial Implications of TCFD) - Our panel will discuss the transformation of climate risk into financial risk for business, as well as the thought processes utilised by financiers in selecting what organisations and projects to finance based on how they analyse their risk portfolio.
  • 25th April 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Making Climate Change Programming More Inclusive - We are delighted to have a panel including speakers from Options, Palladium, Social Development Direct and Sightsavers to speak about how their organisations are making climate change programming more inclusive. They will share insights from various projects, programmes and frameworks relating to biodiversity, health, disability and how they’re making a positive change in these areas.
  • 26th April 2023 13:30-15:30 BST: Roundtable with Mark Eastwood, UK’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan - Mark Eastwood, the United Kingdom’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan who will speak to the subject of Government-to-Government discussions between the UK and Pakistan on infrastructure, renewables, and education, and will provide members with an update on the current trade dialogue between the two countries.
  • 27th April 2023 11:00-14:00 BST: Donor Clinic: Doing business with USAID, in partnership with Konektid International - In-person donor clinic workshop on Doing Business with USAID, in partnership with Konektid International. Mike Shanley, CEO of Konektid International will share best practices on growing your organisations’ work with USAID, funding opportunities and tips for navigating the procurement process, as well as changes to USAID funding following the New Partnerships Initiative and Biden Administration.
  • 27th April 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: UN Water Conference Panel Discussion - In March, the UN held the 2023 Water Conference, the first High-Level Conference on water of its kind to be held in over 40 years. Join us as we host a session on the main takeaways from the conference and the future of UK expertise in the international water sphere.
  • 3rd May 2023 13:30-15:30 BST: In conversation with Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education - Strategy International will be hosting an in-person lunch with Rt Hon Robert Halfon, the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education at the Department for Education. The Minister will provide an overview on the UK government’s latest positioning and strategy for skills and apprenticeships as he takes on this new role, and will speak on the International Education Strategy regarding the outcomes achieved so far and its direction.
  • 4th May 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: Integrated Review Refresh: Implications for UK Trade and International Affairs - Join British Expertise International in partnership with the British Foreign Policy Group for an online webinar on the latest Integrated Review Refresh and what this means for foreign policy and international development players.
  • 11th May 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Strengthening Resilience against Shocks and Stressors in LMICs: A 3ie Evidence Gap Map and Report - In a time where the effects of climate change, human-made disasters, and recurring crisis are contributing to multifaceted and complex emergencies globally, one of the key tools to mitigate these impacts is resilience. Join us as we launch 3ie’s latest Evidence Gap Map report, focused on strengthening resilience against these shocks and stresses in L&MICs!
  • 16th May 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: The Social Impacts of Energy Transition in Africa - This event will examine some of the social impacts of energy transition on the African continent. We will hear from our panel on their experience of what they are already seeing on the ground in markets that have seen the swiftest transition to renewable energy sources and discuss the potential future in terms of where our panel see the energy transition bringing the greatest societal benefits – and challenges – in the short and longer term.
  • 16th May 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Peru infrastructure pipeline with ProInversión - We are pleased to welcome Peru’s promotion agency, ProInversión, who will provide an overview of the latest infrastructure pipeline including projects in energy, highways and water treatment plans. ProInversión is a specialized technical agency, attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with legal status under public law, technical, functional, administrative, economic and financial autonomy.
  • 18th May 2023 12:30-14:30 BST: Meet the Trade Envoy for Bangladesh, Rushanara Ali - Rushanara Ali MP. Rushanara will provide members with an overview of the future developments and market priorities in Bangladesh, as well as upcoming Government-to-Government plans and future engagements between the UK and Bangladesh which may be of interest.
  • 24th May 2023 16:00-19:00 BST: Climate Change 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. After the success of our last Climate Change Networking Evening, this is an event not to be missed.
  • 31st May 2023 16:00-19:30 BST: Road Freight Decarbonisation in Latin America - Join us as we delve into the current challenges and opportunities for decarbonising road freight globally, with a focus on the Latin American region. We will explore solutions and decarbonisation roadmaps in Latin American countries and the potential for UK stakeholders to collaborate and transfer knowledge, experiences and capacities to contribute to the decarbonisation of road freight in the region.
  • 1st June 2023 10:00-12:00 BST: Roundtable on Preparing for a Potential Labour Government - Join British Expertise International for an in-person roundtable with Nick Forbes CBE who will speak on the likely changes in UK policy if there is a change in government at the next election and how this will affect British businesses. Nick will also update members on the likely themes and priorities which will be reflected in the Labour manifesto, covering areas such as foreign policy and inclusion of marginalised groups.
  • 4th July 2023 12:00-15:00 BST: Roundtable with Nick Dyer, Director General, Humanitarian and Development - Join us for an in-person roundtable with Nick Dyer, Director General, Humanitarian and Development. Nick will provide an overview of the UK’s International Development Strategy (IDS) and address the key priorities for the UK in delivering humanitarian aid.

For an overview of our planned events for the early part of the year, you can see a useful infographic here: BEI Winter/Spring Events Programme 2023

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • July 2023: HP and Cambridge Partnership for Education, part of Cambridge University Press & Assessment, are inviting policy leaders focused on Sub-Saharan African countries to apply for the inaugural cohort of a new Fellowship designed to accelerate effective digital transformation in education systems. This seven-month blended learning programme – including a four-day residential module at the University of Cambridge – is designed to build skills in Education Technology (EdTech), policy, and leadership to empower leaders to build and lead coalitions for change. It will develop a network of leaders across the region and beyond focused on using EdTech more effectively so that millions of children in their countries can realise their potential. There are fully funded scholarships available. Find out more and apply:

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