Dear Members and Friends,
In the Queen’s Speech this week, the Government’s agenda was laid out. It signposted a commitment to economic growth, driving towards Carbon Net Zero, to implement the Integrated Review of Defence, Security, Development and Foreign Policy, to deepen ties across the Gulf, Africa and the Indo-Pacific and, to continue to provide aid where it has the greatest impact on reducing poverty and human suffering. At BEI, our agenda aligns strongly with this direction, both in our Events Programme and our Working Groups, and we will continue to focus on enabling implementation and successful execution of an export-led economic growth.
Education is a critical component to the government agenda, and on this note we are delighted to be hosting an outstanding event on Monday 17th May, where we will be joined by speakers from The World Bank, Global Partnership for Education, UNESCO and UNICEF to review the impact of the pandemic and discuss the responses required in a session titled ‘Education Systems & the Covid-19 Recovery’. Click HERE to register for this event.
This week we continued our Cental Asia and Trans Caucasus series with a Deep Dive event on Uzbekistan. With vast human and natural resources and the most diversified economy in Central Asia, Uzbekistan offers many opportunities for UK investors in areas including infrastructure, engineering, transport and logistics, education, technology and renewables. This is amplified by recent reforms focusing on social and economic prosperity and efforts to promote open trade and fair business conditions. A recording of the event is available here for members
Sophia Gaston, Director of the British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG) shared valuable insights on her recent report ‘The UK’s Foreign Policy Tribes: Understanding Polarisation and Cohesion on International Affairs’. The BFPG report has segmented UK citizens’ attitudes to foreign policy into four groups: Humanitarians, Globalists, Patriots and Isolationists. The two largest of these, the Humanitarians and Patriots, are also diametrically opposed in their views on foreign policy. A challenge for the UK government will be getting the public to view the “Global Britain” agenda as a national rather than a partisan aspiration. BEI members can follow this link to view a recording of the presentation which also discusses how to leverage areas for convergence on such a divisive topic.
We explored Food Security and the Impact of Covid-19 with Professor Tim Benton of Chatham House, Qingfeng Zhang from the ADB and Sami Khan of the CDC Group on Thursday. The food and agriculture sector is critical to the economies of many countries and the disruption caused by the pandemic has led to many developing countries struggling to maintain food supplies. While developed nations experienced temporary demand shocks due to panic buying and hospitality waste, developing nations faced huge supply chain disruption.
Next week, we look forward to hosting the UK Trade Envoy for Ethiopia, Lord Bates, who will join us at a members-only round table to discuss the business opportunities the country offers and hear from members on their experiences and challenges they see in doing business there.
We will also be welcoming Jonathan Knott, newly appointed HM Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean, on Wednesday 19th May. The Caribbean is expected to be behind the curve of the global economic recovery as the world begins to emerge from Covid-19, and in combination with a desire to move away from American dependency on goods and services, this presents key opportunities for UK businesses. The Trade Commissioner will be joined by trade colleagues from Department for International Trade (DIT) who will share perspectives on the many areas of opportunity for UK plc. Register for your place at the event here.
The author and academic Jonathan Glennie will join us on Wednesday 19th May to talk about The Future of Aid, relating to details outlined in his book. Jonathan will share a fascinating overview which calls for a wholesale restructuring of the international aid with a new approach fit for the challenges of the 21st century. As the UK government realigns its aid priorities and manages the recent aid budget cuts, perhaps this book provides some useful insights. Register here.
We will also be holding a panel discussion on Thursday 20th May on the effective use Data to Guide Development Decisions. The development sector is at the forefront of evidence-based decision making and integrating monitoring and evaluation skills into policy. However, the complexity of the problems that development programmes try to address means there is constant need for data to continue improving our understanding of these issues, and more significantly, how the data can better inform the policy design process. Join us and contribute to the discussion. Register here.
Our calendar of events continues to grow, we welcome additional member suggestions on any specific topics or speakers you would like us to include in the programmes.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
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Currently all our events are hosted virtually and look forward to exploring 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*.
17th May — Education Systems & the Covid-19 Recovery
19th May — Jonathan Glennie on the Future of Aid
20th May — Using Data to Guide Development Decisions
25th May — Doing Business in Indonesia
27th May — Ethiopia Deep Dive
9th June — Doing Business in Pakistan
HOLD THE DATE for our annual ‘Meet the British Ambassador’ Series — Invitations coming next week…
8th June 09:00–10:30 Central Asia & Caucasus
8th June 12:00–13:30 Francophone Africa
10th June 09:00–10:30 East Africa
10th June 12:00–13:30 South-East Europe
15th June 09:00–10:30 Middle East
15th June 12:00–13:30 West Africa
15th June 15:00–16:30 Latin America
16th June 09:00–10:30 South Asia
16th June 12:00–13:30 Southern Africa
17th June 09:00–10:30 South-East Asia
17th June 12:00–13:30 North Africa
17th June 15:00–16:30 Caribbean
External News & Events
18th May — The British-Kazakh Society is hosting a webinar on Dynamic degrees: Unpacking Advanced Qualifications and Skills, Pathways for Scientific and Industrial Development’ with lecturer Dr. Miljana Radivojevic from University College London and Dr. Ainur Seitkan from Astana International University.
18th — 19th May –The Department for International Trade and UK Export Finance is holding a supplier fair for the Ministerial City Project Benin, which will provide great opportunities in infrastructure for UK businesses. Please see details here.
24th May — The Department for International Trade (DIT) will be hosting a Panel Discussion to about Saudi Arabia’s Private Sector Participation (PSP) Law and upcoming PPP opportunities.
24–28 May 2021 — Bond Annual Conference
The annual Bond Conference is a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of key global trends, get fresh insights from expert speakers, share ideas and connect with development leaders and practitioners around the world. Book one ticket to give your whole organisation access to the full conference programme.
8th June — Join SBJBC in an engaging webinar showcasing: Technology and Digital Cooperation Opportunities at NEOM & THE LINE. Interactive panels will follow on opportunities for innovative UK and Saudi companies to partner on the technology infrastructure required for this visionary project.
9th — 10th June — UK Export Finance will be hosting a Supplier Fair: Agricultural Development in Africa for UK exporters, covering the various sustainable food production projects across Africa.
13th — 16th July — The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology will deliver an interactive online course on Spatial Analysis in QGIS and R — An Introduction for Environmental Scientists.
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