BEI Weekly Update - 1st December 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

This week and next many BEI members will be attending COP28 in the UAE. I’m sure that, with their experience, they will be able to contribute - directly and indirectly - to ensuring that the inputs to the deliberations are as practical and evidence-based as possible. We look forward to hearing their experiences and discussing the outcomes as part of a special member panel event that we are in the process of preparing. If you are at COP, you will hopefully have the opportunity to meet other BEI members as part of the UK Pavilion’s programme, as well as exploring some of the side events (see here). Whether you are there in person or not, you may wish to review this piece from our sister organisation BFPG on some of the potential outcomes.

Back to Grafton Street. On Tuesday, we were pleased to host a workshop run by M&C Saatchi for London-based Embassies on the potential for social media in diplomacy. It’s a particular challenge for diplomats, who are of course required to stick closely to official Government lines, to create engaging social media content, but experts from M&C Saatchi explained how it’s possible provided you understand who your audiences are and keep focused on their needs and interests.

On Wednesday, we hosted a particularly well-attended UN Procurement Roadshow. Over 60 attendees registered, of whom over half were BEI members. Participants heard from Joanne Ganthier, Senior Trade Advisor, Copenhagen; Marie Gow, Senior Trade Advisor, Geneva; and Ashley Halloran, Trade and Investment Officer, New York. They provided insider insights into how to do business with the UN, the most commonly procured goods and services, the tender process and specifications, as well as an overview of the activities of the UN agencies. The formal presentations were followed by one-to-one meetings for participants, from which we received some very positive feedback. Our thanks to our colleagues from the UN for taking the time to join us.

Also on Wednesday, we were pleased to host a reception in partnership with the Department for Business and Trade which included a whole range of UK and international organisations involved in mining, with participants from Central Asia, Mongolia, the Caspian region and Europe.

Looking forward to concluding our 2023 programme of events with two more sessions, part of our FCDO Development Directors series, which will welcome on Tuesday, 12th December, Peter McDermott, Director for Syria (link to register here) and on Wednesday, 13th December, Chris Pycroft, Director for Nigeria (please contact if you are interested in attending). Both will cover the FCDO programmes in their respective countries and priorities for the upcoming year.

Finally, I am writing this newsletter from Belgrade, where I have been struck by the significant infrastructure opportunities in both Serbia and the wider Western Balkan region. The region has long been a priority for EBRD and there are a range of other financing options, including substantial UKEF guarantees on offer to the right projects with 20% UK content. It’s a region with considerable potential for UK companies, and one we can of course help our members with too.

With best wishes for the weekend,

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 12th December 2023 09:00-10:00 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Syria - Join us as we host Peter McDermot, the Development Director in Syria for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Syria.
  • 10th January 3:30 - 5:00 p.m GMT: Safeguarding Panel - Join us for a webinar discussion with representatives from FCDO, DAI Global and Social Development Direct on the topic of safeguarding. This event will be opened by Peter Taylor, Head of Safeguarding Unit, FCDO, who will offer remarks on CAPSEAH. The panel will provide an overview of the best practices in implementing safeguarding through all aspects of operations and programming, as well as addressing the challenges of implementation.
  • 1st February 2024 09:30- 10:30 GMT: Skills and Training WG: Standards - Join us for our quarterly in-person Skills & Training Working Group with presentation from the British Standards Institution (BSI) and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) on the topic of Standards. The discussion will provide an overview of standards and the importance of standards education, followed by insights into the importance of accepted standards in the education sector, and the challenges and steps involved in developing them.
  • 13th February 2024 10:00am-11:30am GMT: Intersection of Climate Change and Food Security - Join us for the next event in our “Intersections with Climate Change” series, this time focusing on the key intersection of Climate Change and Food Security. Our panel will discuss how their organisations are adapting their approach in response to climate change across their programmes and interventions to support and improve food security in a changing climate.

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 7th December 2023 - WEBINAR: UK - Nigeria Aviation Forum - The UK’s Department for Business & Trade (DBT) Nigeria, in partnership with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the International Centre for Protocol & Diplomacy (ICPD) cordially invites you to learn about Nigeria’s Aviation opportunities.

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