BEI Weekly Update
Nov 19, 2021

BEI Weekly Update — 19th November 2021

Dear Members and Friends,

This week the Department for International Trade (DIT) launched their export strategy policy paper, entitled: ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World. This strategy sets out how the government will support businesses to respond to export opportunities around the world. Our members, both large and small, have the ‘best-in-class’ expertise and experience — we are eager and ready to support the government’s export-led growth.

This week also saw the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss launched a major global campaign to stop sexual violence against women and girls in conflict around the world. The Foreign Secretary also announced that UK will host a global conference next year to “…unite the world in action to prevent sexual violence in conflict.”

In the week after COP26 was concluded, we continue to promote our three reports on Extreme Weather Risk and Climate Resilience, Nature-based Solutions and the Built Environment. We also held a fascinating round table panel discussion, our COP26 Post-Event Debrief . Our panel and audience discussed the key outputs and implications of COP26 from their perspectives. Andrew Whitten (Head of the COP26 Team at DIT), Evie Aspinall (British Foreign Policy Group), Clare Shakya (International Institute for Enviromint and Development) and Rebecca Groundwater (Energy Industries Council) provided excellent context and overview.

In addition to our own event, this week was full of post COP26 analysis and in general the takeaways were very similar; there was some progress, especially the inclusion, for the first time ever in a COP decision document, the ambition to reduce the use of fossil fuel. However, many felt, COP26 was not able to get sufficient commitments on reduction of country emissions (nationally determined contributions — NDCs) to meet the 1.5’C target. In addition, there was great debate around commitments to climate finance, adaptation, and loss and damage. There was a general feeling that in COP26, we have inched forward in the right direction but there is a lack of pace. You can read Campbell Keir, our Senior Advisor, Infrastructure’s insights here.

This week we also hosted the latest of our series of Trade Envoy round tables, with Rushanara Ali MP — Trade Envoy to Bangladesh. She met a small group of BEI members to help better understand the opportunities and barriers for UK exporters. The discussion highlighted the great opportunities Bangladesh has to offer, in sectors including infrastructure, education, services, health and finance. The UK’s relationship with Bangladesh provides a unique platform, but other competitors are also eyeing this lucrative market.

As we head into the next few weeks, I wanted to highlight a few key events coming up, starting with the plans for next week

On 22nd November, we will be hosting an Education Working Group Roundtable with Alicia Herbert, Director of the Education, Gender and Equality Directorate (EdGE) at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). In addition to leading the EdGE, Alicia is also Special Envoy for Gender Equality and Head of Abercrombie House. As education systems around the globe rebuild and evolve as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the BEI Education Working Group continues its series of senior-level engagements with key stakeholders to enable dialogue supporting recovery from the Learning Loss crisis.

On 23rd November, we look forward to welcoming to 23 Grafton Street The Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UK. His Excellency Mr Elin Suleymanov will make his first appearance at British Expertise International. Appointed Ambassador to the UK in July 2021, he was previously Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the United States of America for a full decade, representing his nation’s interests in a dynamically changing political and diplomatic environment.

On 25th November we will be hosting a lunch with Andrew Mitchell CMG, Director General Exports and UK Trade at the UK Department for International Trade. With responsibilities for the department’s work on exports, global supply chains as well as UK Regions and the Devolved Administrations Andrew will share his perspectives on DIT’s Export and Trade priorities and we look forward to more insights on the recently published UK Export Strategy.

On the same day, 25th November we look forward to an event on Doing Business with USAID. The US’s international development agency offers great opportunities for UK companies to deliver development programmes globally. With a development budget in excess of $21 billion last year, we are delighted to welcome Mike Shanley, CEO of AidKonekt Data as he shares some insights and experiences on how to best leverage delivering work for USAID and navigate the procurement processes.

It’s been a long week — with COP26 over, we now look ahead to how UK expertise and experience can support delivery of the climate emergency adaptation, mitigation and resilience building programmes.

I wish you all a very relaxing weekend and I will be looking forward to having the time to explore the contents of the new DIT Export Strategy, if my children allow me any time to do so.

With Best Wishes

Derrick Sanyahumbi
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International

Don’t forget…

See our full events programme here, and to enquire about becoming a member of BEI, register your interest here.

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

Join our LinkedIn Group and keep up with our news and our upcoming events highlights. Members can also post and share latest news and thought leadership. Join the group here.

Recruitment Board
Take advantage of the new Job Board on our website to post your organisation’s vacancies, currently this facility is available for free.

Upcoming Events

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*.

22nd November — Education Working Group Roundtable with Alicia Herbert

23rd November — BEI Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

23rd November — Event with the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UK

25th November — Lunch with Andrew Mitchell CMG

25th November — Doing Business with USAID

30th NovemberRoundtable with Trade Envoy Lord Davies

1st DecemberUNICEF & Education Systems Recovery

7th December Jamaica: Infrastructure Opportunities

9th December* ICAI Report — UK Aid’s Alignment with the Paris Agreement

14th December Roundtable with Trade Envoy Marco Longhi

13th January* Project Acquisition Software — DevelopmentAid

18th January*Lunch with UK Export Finance CEO Louis Taylor

19th January*The FCDO & Global Health Priorities

27th JanuaryDoing Business & Opportunities with the EBRD

External News & Events

2nd — 22nd 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.

22nd November — As part of DIT’s Europe Trade Month, this ‘Catch the Train’ webinar will provide an overview of rail opportunities across Europe. DIT Commercial officers, partners, and teams in over 30 countries have pulled together a great programme of informative and interactive sessions including market briefings, sector deep dives, local experts and much more. Governments are promoting railway transport as a clean, sustainable, innovative, and safe solution for Europeans’ mobility. This is the right time for UK companies to explore overseas markets and grow internationally. To attend Register Here.

30th November- DIT is hosting Japan Market Briefing which is part of the Technology Growth Programme. The aim is to support UK based SMEs to grow their overseas presence. Colleagues from the British Embassy in Tokyo, JEITA, and the Japan Fintech Association will be joining us. For more information and to register please visit here.

7th December — UK Export Finance is hosting their fourth UK Trade and Export Finance Forum. They will return to the QEII Conference Centre in London from 09:00–19:00. This event will look at the role of trade finance in the transition towards clean growth and renewable energy. Learn more and register here.

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