Dear Members and Friends,
As this is my last Weekly Update for 2021, I wanted to begin by thanking all our members, partners and networks for your support and engagement throughout the year. I also want to thank all the new members who joined us this year — some 28 in total. We were delighted to welcome them all and look forward to a further year of growth and development in 2022.
We hosted our last two events of the year, with a virtual roundtable discussion with Marco Longhi MP, the UK’s Trade Envoy to Brazil on 14th December. Marco had recently returned from a trip to three states, where he felt there were strong opportunities to build partnerships. He reflected on how positively the UK brand and is viewed and synonymous with high quality. Marco spoke of the huge opportunities across a range of sectors, but cautioned that other countries are seen to be more active and seem to be taking first mover advantage. Given the market’s complexity and size, and the fact that states can operate independently, there is opportunity to engage bilaterally at regional level. Marco hopes to make another trip to Brazil early in the New Year.
On Thursday 15th December he Safeguarding Leads Network held their End of Year Round-up. This included a review of the 2021 activities against the priorities, and looked ahead at the proposed focus areas for 2022 which we believe are driven by the challenges international development private sector continue to face and these include; Governance, Safeguarding Capacity, Reporting, Response, and Networking
Heading into 2022, we are already excited about the shape of our events plans. I wanted to give you a sense of the direction we are taking, and provide you with some of the highlights for the early part of the year:
- We will run regular ‘In Person’ briefings with key figures from HMG and members of the Diplomatic Corps based in London (guidance permitting)
- We will be continuing with our ‘Meet the….’ Series, with regular sessions with PM’s Trade Envoys and HM’s Trade Commissioners, as well as our annual ‘Meet the Ambassadors’ series in Spring
- We will be running themed events driven by the great reports issued by our Education and Climate Change Working Groups, with key stakeholders including from HMG, development banks, institutional funders and other relevant in country networks
- We will schedule regular engagements with a focus on our members’ sectors of interest including international development, infrastructure, as well as with regional development banks and other institutional funders
- We will continue to undertake ‘deep dives’ into the opportunities in specific sectors, countries and regions
- We will continue to develop new content — early in the new year, we will be updating the Education Report and issuing a new report on the pivotal role BEI Members have in the successful delivery of the international development agenda; we will also be exploring the challenging issue of climate finance
- In addition to our Events and Working Group plans, we are now preparing for the next cohort of The Future Group, our bespoke executive education programme designed for future business leaders wanting to develop their leadership skills in a challenging environment. If you have any potential candidates or would like to find out more about the course, please let me know personally and will arrange a briefing.
Based around these themes, these are some of the highlights in the early part of the year:
- Thursday 13th January: presentation by DevelopmentAid on their ‘Smart Project Acquisition Tool’ — Tenderwell. The platform is designed to support BD project acquisition tracking and management of data on project opportunities efficiently and helps to increase win rate at tendering.
- Tuesday 18th January: members only lunch with Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency. Louis Taylor will share key insights on UKEF’s new strategy and priorities and its growing collection of financial packages accessible to UK companies.
- Wednesday 19th January: webinar with Darren Welch, the FCDO Director of Global Health as he shares insights on FCDO’s global health priorities and focus in the face of many global challenges.
- Thursday 20th January: in-depth discussion with the Department for International Trade in Mexico, which will provide BEI members with a download on the latest climate-related opportunities, a brief political and economic update, and the opportunity to have your questions answered.
- Wednesday 26th January: Deep Dive with Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Armenia, HE John Gallagher, who was appointed to the position in March 2021. The Ambassador will be joined on the panel by his Embassy team, providing a socio-political update on the market, an overview of doing business in Armenia.
- Wednesday 26th January: presentation on the Clean Green Initiative launched by the UK at COP26. Directors for Economic Cooperation & Growth at FCDO Caroline Read & Nicola Webb, will share detailed insights on how developing countries can leverage green technology and grow their economies sustainably.
- Join us on Thursday 27th January: webinar on “Doing Business with the EBRD” focusing on how to navigate the procurement processes and procedures as well as their project pipeline priorities around sustainable infrastructure.
- Wednesday 9th February: ‘Virtual’ roundtable with the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Mongolia. The country has a growing economy with opportunities across a broad range of sectors including technology, mining, energy, education and agriculture.
- Tuesday 22nd February: Virtual Roundtable with the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to South Africa. He will join this session to listen to UK companies tell their stories of doing business in South Africa and take questions.
- Wednesday 23rd February: Deep Dive into opportunities for UK companies in Nigeria with British High Commission team in-country. We look forward to insights on the ease of doing business in Nigeria as well as details on opportunities in the infrastructure, energy, financial services, and agriculture sectors.
To register for any of these events, and see the most up to date schedule, visit our website here
Finally, it only rests for me to wish you and your families a very merry, festive and covid-free Christmas and New Year, and hope that your plans will not be disrupted too much by the challenges of the new variant
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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Take advantage of the new Job Board on our website to post your organisation’s vacancies, currently this facility is available for free.
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*.
13th January* — Development Aid Project Opportunities Platform
18th January* — Lunch with UK Export Finance CEO Louis Taylor
19th January* — The FCDO & Global Health Priorities
20th January — Resilient Cities & Infrastructure: The Mexico Series
26th January — Armenia Deep Dive
26th January — Green Green Initiative
27th January — Doing Business & Opportunities with the EBRD
8th February — Meet the Trade Envoy for Mongolia Daniel Kawczynski MP
23rd February — Opportunities for UK Companies in Nigeria
External News & Events
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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