BEI Weekly Update
Nov 18, 2022

BEI Weekly Update — 18th November 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

With a broad range of announcements in the Autumn Statement, the most notable for many of our members will have been the reduction in International Development spending being confirmed to being extended further — potentially for another five years. Our discussions and events with FCDO in recent months have all highlighted the future importance of partnerships in the development arena. We are already scoping and planning a series of events — starting this side of Christmas — with a wider set of partners, foundations and other funding bodies. Watch this space for more details.

Although this news is challenging, at the same time we see continued evidence of the growth potential in many parts of the world — South East Asia in particular. Their ambition and potential are underpinned by a very clear commitment to creating the right skills to drive their long-term success — across areas as diverse as renewables and energy transition, hospitality, logistics and digital skills, to name but a few. Our newly formed and fast-growing Skills Working Group will be an ideal forum to develop and showcase the UK’s capabilities in this critical area for economies around the world.

On this topic, I’m delighted that Luisa Edves, BEI’s Director of Education and Skills is travelling this week to Ho Chi Minh City to join the Wilton Park and DIT ASEAN Skills Challenge Conference, which will bring together all the Ministers of Education and Labour from the region. The conference will focus mainly on skills and training needed to prepare the economies for a Net Zero future, which we see a considerable opportunity of growth for BEI members. Looking forward to hearing her report.

Whilst underlining the opportunities in Asia it’s worth highlighting now an incoming group from the Philippines on 29th November bringing infrastructure opportunities, in all areas of smart cities development including sustainable transport and renewable energy. Sponsored by our friends at FCDO and their Global Future Cities (GFC) Programme this is an opportunity to look at a range of opportunities around the redevelopment of the former US military bases in the Philippines, in this case Clark, the ex-Air Force base, familiar to me from a thrashing at the hands of the US Airforce when I played wing for the Manila Nomads rugby. Another story for another day…… The Philippines, with its widely spoken English, high levels of education and access to well-structured multi-lateral funding programmes, presents a promising operating environment for UK exporters.

In terms of forthcoming events, please see the following:

21st November: FCDO Rwanda — Development Priorities
Virtual event. 12:30–14:00 GMT.
Join us as we host Anna Wilson, the Development Director in Rwanda for the FCDO who will present the Government’s development priorities and programming for Rwanda.
Rwanda has seen impressive development gains since the civil war and the 1994 genocide. With a population of 13 million people, Rwanda is a landlocked country bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi.
The development progress of Rwanda has been since threatened by a poor nutrition, learning loss from school closures, and too few health services. Nonetheless, Rwanda aspires to achieve a Middle-Income Status by 2035 through their series of 7-year National Strategies for Transformation which is focused on meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (World Bank).

22nd November: Doing Business with CABEI
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT.
Join the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) for their first UK market engagement event, following the recent opening of their European office. CABEI’s mission is to promote economic integration and balanced economic and social development of the Central American region (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama and Belize), in sectors including water sanitation, water treatment, urban mobility, health infrastructure, energy and transportation.

22nd November: An ESG Masterclass — The Why, The What And The How
In person panel event and networking reception. 16:30 for 17:00–19:30 GMT.
Join us as we explore the critical issue of ESG with a panel of speakers who will share their views on why an effective ESG approach is key to international business success and employee motivation, illustrate how the issue has been tackled successfully and share guiding principles for developing successful policies and practices within this critical area.

24th November: Doing Business with the Caribbean Development Bank — Session one: Infrastructure, Energy and Environment
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT.
The first session in this year’s ‘Doing Business with the CDB’ seminar will cover opportunities in Infrastructure, Energy and Environment. This event series provides insights on CDB’s key sector plans, a forward look on their business pipelines and opportunities, and an update on CDB’s strategic direction.

29th November: Roundtable with inbound Philippines delegation: ‘New Clark City Investment Roadshow and Study Visit’
In-person event 13:00 for 14:00–15:30 GMT.
BEI is organising an in-person networking lunch and knowledge sharing roundtable with the delegation, which includes the President and CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as well as their Transportation expert and Infrastructure Advisor, among others, to meet with UK organisations and hear about their expertise and experience. Specifically, the roundtable will provide the opportunity to discuss the New Clark City masterplan and present relevant UK case studies on smart cities development, in three key areas — sustainable finance, transport and energy.

29th November: Doing Business with the Caribbean Development Bank — Session Two: Education, Social, Trade and Governance
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT. The second session in this year’s ‘Doing Business with the CDB’ seminar will cover opportunities in Education, Social, Trade and Governance, whilst also providing insights on key sector plans and opportunities for UK Business.

30th November: Africa’s Development Dynamics 2022
Virtual event 10:00–11:30 GMT.
Arthur Minsat, who heads the OECD Development Centre’s Unit for Africa, Middle East and Europe, will share the highlights of this flagship report prepared by the African Union Commission and of the OECD Development Centre.

Very Best Wishes  

Peter O’Kane
British Expertise International/Strategy International

Longer Term View of Events

7th December: Colombia – Market Opportunity Overview
Virtual event 14:00-15:30 GMT.
Join us as we host George Hodgson, His Majesty’s Ambassador to Colombia and his team to explore opportunities in Colombia for UK based businesses. After a long period of conflict, Colombia has emerged as a strong economy in its region. It has one of the largest populations and economies in Latin America.

7th December: BEI x BFPG Education Clinic
In-person event 11:30-13:00 GMT. BEI is delighted to announce the launch of their Clinics, a series of workshops in which we will look to explore the practicalities of working with donors, foundations, international organisations, and foreign policy affecting the British businesses.

Summary of events held in the last two weeks

Which feature links to meetings slides / recordings

3rd November: Financing Development – Insights, Challenges & Risks
Recording available here.

Upcoming external events

22nd November: ADB outreach session discussing SCQS with the consultancy market. 10:00–11:30 Manila time. Registration can be found here.

22nd November: Doing Business with the UN and Multi-Lateral Development Banks. This DIT webinar will provide insight on how to access UN and Multi-Lateral Development Bank procurement opportunities from the Trade Departments of the British Embassies in Copenhagen, Geneva, New York and Barbados. There will be an exclusive opportunity for you to meet the guest speakers for an in-person one-to-one meeting, as they visit the UK between 5th and 9th of December 2022 at various locations throughout the UK. Register here: Doing Business with the UN and Multi-Lateral Development Banks — New Registration (

24th November: ADB outreach session discussing SCQS with the consultancy market. 15:00–16:30 Manila time. Registration can be found here.

24th November: Managing FX and cross-border payments risk in international development, 17:15–21:00 at St Boltophs’s Church Hall, City Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TL. This event will be an evening of conversation and networking, focused on the safe and timely delivery of FX and cross-border payments into hard-to-reach markets with lived case studies. Discussion will cover a range of topics including bank account management, access to cash, investments, safety and controls, financial risks, and technology.

29th November: Business Opportunity Briefing on “New Clark City: The Philippines’ Sustainable Future city and Green Investment Destination”. Herringham Hall, Regents University London Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NS. New Clark City is the Philippine government’s response to the overstressed confines of Metro Manila. the 9,450 ha New Clark City is the first green, disaster-resilient, inclusive and sustainable metropolis in the country that will provide unmatched potential for the Philippines, its neighbors, and its investors to be a global economic force. This event will showcase the exciting pipeline of projects in New Clark City. Registration can be found here.

29th November 2022. Spearfish, a new BEI member, provide tailored security solutions for organisations operating in complex and high-risk environments. They plan to run an OPEN Heat Course Day on Tuesday, 29th November. Attendees will include clients from the Development, Government, Humanitarian and Private sectors.
The day will start at 10 am and attendees will be taken through some exercises run on Spearfish’s courses. Attendees will also meet the First Aid Trainer, Lead Trainer, and Ukrainian and Nigerian country-specific experts who will be on hand to talk about the specific security challenges facing both countries today. There will also be a lunch and an opportunity to talk and network with other guests.
Follow this link for more details: SPEARFISH OPEN HEAT DAY INVITATION. Any questions about the day please do not hesitate to get in touch directly with

30th November: UBTIC (Uzbek-British Trade and Industry Council) meeting in Tashkent. Attendees can expect high-level participation, including DIT’s General Director, Andrew Mitchell, HMTC Kenan Poleo and Uzbek DPM Jamshid Khodjaev. Alongside this high-level government participation, UBTIC will bring together an impressive roster of senior executives and sector experts for a day of roundtable discussions from both UK and Uzbek businesses. Register here by 25th November.

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