Dear Members and Friends,
I can hardly believe that we are already half way through the year. The last six months seem to have flown by. As I begin to reflect on the first half of the year, we are delighted to have been joined, as members of BEI by 15 new organisations. As a collective summary, I wanted to welcome all of them to BEI. The new joiners are Mannion Daniels, Deloitte, ABSA, Senceive, RM, Crystal FM, Montrose International, Sannam S4, WRC (part of RSK), The Big Picture, SQA, ERG, NFER, Kuungana Advisoryand TelosNRG. A big thank you to all of them for joining and we look forward to long and fruitful partnerships.
We have had a very busy and dynamic week, which began with an in person briefing from Andrew Mace, Senior UK Government Relations Officer and his colleagues from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on their work in Creating Opportunities for Healthy Productive Lives. They shared some updates on the Foundation’s strategy and priorities as well as details on how companies can engage and work with them to deliver on their programmes.
Bim Afolami MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Renewable and Sustainable Energ joined us for an in-person lunch and discussion on Financing the Future: Insights into Mobilising Climate Finance. The discussions also recognised that in the face of the situation in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis and climate change concerns appear to have dropped down the global agenda. There was a view that a shift to clean growth would reinforce energy security, bring the cost of energy down — as we have seen with offshore wind — and both create new jobs and secure existing employment. There was a lively discussion about financing clean growth and also energy transition, with a view that ‘adaptation’ activities still lack sufficient funding.
Finally, we hosted a webinar on the recent release of the report Mind the Gap 2. Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises. We heard about the progress made since the first version’s release of Mind the Gap 1, where improvements were made in both the availability of data around completion rats and learning outcomes and global awareness of the importance of ensuring that all girls should be able to complete 12 years of safe and quality education. Speakers highlighted the three key themes of the report: distance education and the digital divide, gender-based violence and girls’ education, and girls’ education and the climate crisis. Panellists agreed that it is important to address needs holistically, with coordination across multiple levels and stakeholder groups, ensuring that any institutional barriers are removed — and involving the beneficiaries in the design of interventions. The full report is available here.
Our Summer Schedule continues at full pace over the coming weeks.
On July 4th, BEI host H.E. James Sharp, British Ambassador to Azerbaijan, DIT Director Joel Derbyshire, alongside representatives from the Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce and BP, for a Market Opportunities Overview event — Doing Business in Azerbaijan. In this event, we will hear about the current business environment and why now is the time for UK companies to do business with Azerbaijan, due to the multitude of opportunities it provides in sectors such as energy, education and healthcare, as well as notable infrastructure opportunities in the liberated territories.
On 5th July, we will be hosting an in-person panel discussion Global Crises & Emergencies — UK Capability and Experience exploring UK actors’ strong track record in responding to global emergencies and crises including humanitarian and conflict related challenges. The panellists will share their organisations experiences, lessons learnt and encourage debate on some of the practical actions that can be taken to ensure more effective responses in future.
On 6th July, we will be joined by representatives from the Department of International Trade (DIT) in Ghana as we host a Ghana Deep Dive, focusing on the country’s climate priorities. The DIT team will present on Ghana’s focus on climate resilience and adaptation, and the pipeline of climate-related opportunities in the country. The event will provide a climate related sectoral insight into market opportunities and specifically, where UK exporters can best provide solutions to the impacts of climate change.
On 7th July, join us for an in-person event In conversation with Stefan Dercon, most recently Development Policy Advisor to successive Foreign Secretaries at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) between 2020 and 2022, as he shares insights from his recently published book, “Gambling on Development: Why Some Countries Win and Others Lose”. He will be joined on the panel by Onyekachi Wambu, Executive Director at AFFORD UK and Gwen Hines, CEO of Save The Children, to explore global development, and share perspectives on why some countries have prospered, while others have failed.
On 13th July we will host a presentation on the highlights of the latest World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report published in June 2022. World Bank Senior Economist, Patrick Kirby will take us through key insights from a report that suggests global growth is expected to slump from 5.7 percent in 2021 to 2.9 percent in 2022 which is significantly lower than 4.1 percent that was anticipated in January. You can register for this and other events HERE.
On 14th July, our members are invited to join us for a Lunch with Ambassador of Kyrgyz Republic to the UK, H.E. Ulan Djusupov. This event will provide an opportunity to meet the new Kyrgyzstan Ambassador to the UK and get a brief on the political and economic situation as well as an overview and insights on areas of opportunity for UK companies in Kyrgyzstan.
On 19th July, join us as we host a virtual event with Andrew Bacchus, Head of Sports Projects at DIT on The Global Sports Economy — Insights and Opportunities including on sports infrastructure. Andrew and his team will provide an overview of the sports economy sector and opportunities for UK companies internationally, including sports infrastructure. With UK organisations increasingly being able to offer a broad range of expertise in this sector, it will be interesting to hear directly from the DIT about their strategy and specific areas of opportunity for UK plc.
Also on the 19th July, representatives from the DIT in Peru will provide an Infrastructure and Climate related sectoral insight into market opportunities and specifically, where UK exporters can best provide solutions. Peru has a strong emerging market economy that has rebounded well following on from the Covid-19 pandemic and is considered a favourable place to do business — exemplified best by the British-Peru G2G ‘El Niño reconstruction programme’, valued at £1.7 billion.
On Thursday 21st July, we will be joined by the team from The Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for a session providing insights into Working with The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). They will share details of MCC’s strategy and how they work to promote growth, help people lift themselves out of poverty, and invest in future generations. The MCC’s mission is to reduce global poverty through the promotion of sustainable economic growth.
As mentioned last week, for our members in the Infrastructure/Built Environment space, we are also excited to announce a new Urban Transport sub-Group that will aim to summarise UK capabilities in this area, produce a short summary paper articulating this offer, and host a series of events with targeted stakeholders to promote these capabilities. BEI members are invited to send in an expression of interest to join the group to Joe McLynn if they are willing to actively participate and contribute to the work of the group.
Finally, I wanted to advise you that after two years as the Senior Infrastructure Adviser, Campbell Keir is stepping down to pursue other interests. We would like to thank Campbell for his contribution to BEI and I am sure we will see him from time to time as he continues to support BEI’s infrastructure and energy related activities.
As the weekend looms, I hope you will enjoy some time out to relax and re-energise as we head into peak barbeque season!
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
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4th July — Doing business in Azerbaijan
6th July — Ghana Deep Dive — Market Opportunities
13th July — Global Economic Prospects Report
External News & Events
28th — 29th September — Field Electronics and Sensors Training: The one-day BEGINNER course will give you an introduction to electronics as applied to environmental sensors in the field. The one-day ADVANCED course will build on the Beginners course and Learners will gain advanced knowledge on data logging systems, sensors, communication protocols and remote data downloading. Find more details HERE.
Date TBC — The Government of Jamaica intends to commission the construction of a new Parliament building. JAMPRO intends to host a webinar to explain the opportunity — date to be confirmed and will share with members. Please see below details: ePPS — View Competition details (gojep.gov.jm) https://udcja.com/2022/04/04/construction-of-the-new-jamaica-houses-of-parliament-at-national-heroes-park-kingston-jamaica/
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