Dear Members and Friends,
We are now only weeks away from COP26 and there has been a significant increase in momentum and media coverage, which no doubt will continue to intensify over the coming weeks. Our own plans for the COP 26 fortnight are also taking great shape. In the first week of November, we will run three events, each focused on the topics being tackled by our Climate Change Working Groups — The Built Environment, Nature Based Solutions and Extreme Weather Risk & Climate Resilience. In the second week, on November 10th we will launch these three reports with an in-person event at 23 Grafton Street. There are a number of other opportunities during the fortnight — look out for our follow up next week that will provide all the details.
During the same two weeks our sister company, D Contemporary will be hosting a climate exhibition curated by Sean T Ross working with a team of graduates from the Material Futures Course at Central St Martins. They will be exhibiting creative responses to current climate issues and how design can be used to provide new solutions.
This week, we were honoured to host a members only lunch with Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola, Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, who shared some insights on UK-Nigeria relationships and his perspectives on areas of opportunity in sectors including energy, infrastructure and agriculture technology. With the UK’s long historical relationship with Nigeria, it was surprising to note that we lag behind in 6th place on trade. The key message was that Nigeria is open for business and keen to see more UK companies exploring opportunities in a wide range of sectors.
We also hosted a small, members only Roundtable with Trade Envoy Mark Garnier MP , the Trade Envoy to Thailand, Myanmar and Brunei. Mark shared his experiences and plans to engage in the region, and heard from a variety of members about their personal experiences of doing business in the region. He was very keen to hear from members in preparation for a Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) negotiations meeting with Thailand in February 2022, particularly around areas of opportunity and challenges/barriers to doing business in the country.
We were joined by FCDO’s Bo Sundstrom, Head of the EU Development Programme and Martin Heather Policy Team Leader, who provided the latest updates on the FCDO-EU relationship in development, humanitarian engagement and related issues. It was useful to understand those areas where UK companies were still able to bid. It was clear there was still a lot of work going on in establishing the post-Brexit relationship and the current political discussions around the protocols demonstrate the future uncertainties that still exist.
I joined the briefing meeting on Tuesday hosted by ICAI CEO Tamsyn Barton on the results of the rapid review of UK aid’s alignment with the Paris Agreement. The report found, “The commitment to align all UK aid with the Paris Agreement reflects the urgency of the climate crisis, but a more ambitious approach is needed to achieve the transformative impact necessary for pursuing low-emission, climate-resilient development…”.
Next week, we continue with a broad range of events
On 19th October — Investing in Education — a CDC Group View — the CDC Group will present on some of their work in education focusing on the needs and gaps in education in African and South Asian markets in areas such as EdTech, Skills and TVET, Further and Higher Education. We will hear from Leandro Cuccioli — Head of Consumer, Healthcare, Education and Business Services as well as Rob Jordan- Investment Director, Consumer & Business Services, Equity who will provide an overview of projects and opportunities, and discuss the CDC Group’s structure and funding model.
On 20th October — Opportunities in the Kurdistan Region We will hear from H.E. Karwan Jamal Tahir, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) High Representative to the UK along with other senior KRG officials. They will be joined by David Hunt, the British Consul General in Erbil. Since 2003, the region has experienced significant economic growth and political stability that has created a favourable climate for foreign investment.
On 21st October — Climate Finance and Development Join us as we here from Rachel Turner, FCDO Director International Finance as we explore one of the most significant issues facing the delivery of climate adaptation and mitigation policies — finance.
Finally, as I am sure a number of you are doing, I will be taking a few days off next week for Half Term. I would love to say this will be a relaxing break, but I think I will be even busier looking after the kids If you are doing the same, I hope you manage to relax and enjoy a few days off.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
Join our Working Groups — as part of our member focus, the working groups offer opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement, learning & sharing, profiling expertise & capabilities and highlighting thought leadership. Groups include Climate Change, Education, infrastructure, D&I, and we also support a Safeguarding Leads Network. For details contact Joe McLynn
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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*.
19th October — Investing in Education — a CDC Group View
20th October — Opportunities in the Kurdistan Region
20th October — BEI Climate Change Working Group
21st October — Climate Finance and Development with Rachel Turner
27th October — Lunch with the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the UK
28th October — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Darren Henry MP
1st November* — BEI Education Working Group
11th November* — BEI Infrastructure Working Group
17th November* — BEI Climate Change Working Group
23rd November* — BEI Diversity and Inclusion Working Group
23rd November* — Event with the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UK
24th November — Education Systems & the Covid-19 Recovery — Follow up event
25th November — Lunch with Andrew Mitchell CMG
25th November — Doing Business with USAID
30th November* — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Lord Davies
7th December* — Jamaica: Infrastructure Opportunities
External News & Events
19th October GTR UK plans to return as a physical event in 2021, offering unrivalled insights into the latest exciting developments impacting on the world of UK trade and exports, and taking place in London on October 19. Details available here.
27th October The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the British Embassy Manila trade team will host a virtual teach-in clinic on accessing ADB consulting business opportunities and demystifying the procurement process.
1st November Department for International Trade (DIT) will host a virtual trade tour of Europe during the month of November to equip UK businesses for success in the region.
2nd November Department for International Trade (DIT) and the UK-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC), and the British Council is organizing a Policy Forum focused on the promotion of British transnational education in Kazakhstan. This is designed and delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
16th November Department for International Trade (DIT) is hosting a free webinar on doing business in Singapore. For UK SMEs, Singapore is one of the easiest places in the world to start, run and do business (World Bank, 2019) as both economies have similar business & legal practices and share similar technical standards. Learn more and register here.
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