BEI Weekly Update
Oct 20, 2023

BEI Weekly Update —  20th October 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

This week the world’s attention has of course been on the grave developments in the Middle East following Hamas’ attack on Israel. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this evolving humanitarian catastrophe.  A number of our members work in the region and many colleagues will have personal connections too which will add to their anxiety. On top of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine the challenges for international stability have rarely been more worrying. We can only hope and pray for an early peaceful resolution. 

Our sister organisation BFPG will be publishing a piece on the considerations influencing the UK’s position on the Middle East crisis in the coming days. Meanwhile, members may be interested in BFPG Director Evie Aspinall’s latest blog on the foreign policy and international development issues aired at the recent Conservative and Labour Party conferences.

It goes without saying that, even if the headline news is elsewhere, we cannot afford to be distracted from the global challenges – and opportunities – which were with us before and remain as important as ever. This week, we hosted another in our (virtual) Meet the Development Director series and were grateful for the insights of Pippa Bird on the FCDO programme in Nepal. A relatively new area for the corporate world is that of nature-related disclosures: as the increasing threats to nature rise up the agenda, developing reporting mechanisms which go beyond compliance will require new skills and expertise. Thomas Viegas from the Taskforce for Nature-related Disclosures (TNFD) led our members’ discussion on this emerging challenge, with Claire Wansbury, Fellow and Technical Director, Biodiversity at AtkinsRéalis sharing insights from their work with clients. Our third virtual session of the week focused on Operational Sustainability, with speakers from UN Global Compact, MannionDaniels and Oxford Properties discussing how organisations can climate-proof their organisations and create meaningful impacts by putting net zero and sustainability strategies into practice.

Next week will be one of our busiest. On Monday, we will be welcoming a team from USAID for a full day of engagement with members. On Wednesday, we host a panel to mark the International Day of the Girl with Alicia Herbert OBE, Director of Education, Gender & Equalities at FCDO, alongside colleagues from the Apostolic Women Empowerment Trust and Sauti Ya Wanawake Organisation. We also have two country-focused events next week: a Morocco Education deep dive on Tuesday, and the UK-Armenia Trade and Investment Forum on Thursday, with an Armenian Delegation led by Mr Vahan Kerobyan, Minister of Economy of Armenia.

Last but not least, next Thursday will also see the launch of our Water Resilience Working Group. Access to water has always been a key factor in human security and geopolitics but, with climate change, is now more important than ever. Alongside some of the steering group’s members, we will provide an overview of the new working group’s aims and objectives and offer a platform for member discussion of our plans for the first 6 months and the group’s potential outputs.

With such a range of events on the agenda, we look forward to seeing many of you next week, in person or online.

Best wishes,

David Landsman

Executive Chairman  

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 23rd October 2023 09:00-16:30 BST: Engaging with USAID - UK Partners Day - Join us for BEI’s Series of events engaging with USAID. We are delighted to be joined for a one-day event by 4 senior representatives from USAID as well as welcoming back Mike Shanley from Konektid International. Our speakers will run 2 panel discussions in the morning followed by afternoon break out sessions and 1-1 sessions which can be booked by members individually with each of the speakers.
  • 24th October 2023 10:00-11:00 BST: Morocco Education Deep Dive with the Department for Business and Trade - Join us for a deep dive into the education opportunities in Morocco. Leading on from BEI’s Ambassador Series, we are following up with a deep dive into the education opportunities in Morocco led by the Department of Business and Trade where representatives will provide us with an insight into the key education priorities for the UK looking to do business in Morocco.
  • 25th October 2023 16:00-18:30 BST: International Day of The Girl - Join us for an evening reception and learning panel discussion to commemorate the International Day of the Girl. We will be joined by Alicia Herbert OBE, FCDO Director of Education, Gender and Equalities and the UK’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality, as well as colleagues from the Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC). We will discuss the role played by Women’s Rights Organisations (WRO’s) within the GEC and will celebrate the partnership’s impact.
  • 26th October 2023 09:00-14:00 BST: UK-Armenia Business Forum - Join the UK-Armenia Business Forum at 23 Grafton Street, with senior participation from the Ministry of Economy of Armenia as part of the visiting delegation. The agenda includes an overview of the economy and ease of doing business, as well as deep-dives on current opportunities in energy, infrastructure, logistics and technology.
  • 26th October 2023 15:00-19:30 BST: Water Resilience Working Group Launch - Join us at 23 Grafton Street as we launch a new working group stream focusing on Water Resilience. Alongside some of the steering group’s members, we will provide an overview of the new working group’s aims and objectives and offer a platform for member discussion of our plans for the first 6 months and the group’s potential outputs. The panel discussion will be followed by a networking reception.
  • 31st October 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Intersection of Climate Change and Conflict Prevention - The BEI ‘Intersections with Climate Change’ series continues with an event focusing on the key intersection of Climate Change and Conflict Prevention. Our panel will discuss how their organisations are adapting their approach in response to climate change across their programmes and interventions relating to the intersection of climate change and conflict prevention.
  • 1st November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Bangladesh - Join us as we host Matt Cannell, the Development Director in Bangladesh for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Bangladesh.
  • 1st November 2023 16:00-18:30 GMT: Education Working Group: Soft Power - Join us for our quarterly in-person Education Working Group in November, focusing on Soft Power. This session will be run by our sister organisation, British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG), and will discuss the contribution of the Education Sector to the UK’s Soft Power proposition, as well as the ways in which the education sector can leverage its positioning internationally.
  • 2nd November 2023 10:00-11:00 GMT: Resolving Trade Barriers in Eastern Europe & Central Asia - Join us online to learn about the UK government’s approach to resolving barriers to trade in Eastern Europe & Central Asia, to gain a deeper understanding of the UK Trade Programme and to start new conversations on the challenges and solutions of market access in the region.
  • 6th November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Azerbaijan - Market Opportunity Overview - Azerbaijan has made significant political and regulatory reforms which have increased the attractiveness and competitiveness of the country. With the biggest airport, seaport and railway network in the region, Azerbaijan is a logistics hub for the Caspian region and a crucial element in the Middle Corridor. This webinar will cover specific project opportunities in infrastructure, green energy, security, agriculture, healthcare, IT and education.
  • 8th November 2023 09:00-10:30 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Rwanda - Join us as we host Anna Wilson, the Development Director in Rwanda for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Rwanda.
  • 8th November 2023 15:00 for 15:30-17:00 GMT, followed by networking drinks - Climate Finance Report Launch - This paper frames challenges in mobilising climate finance in terms of system-level barriers – relating to the quantity and quality of climate finance, as well as systems and distribution channels used to deliver climate finance – and country-level barriers – relating to the policy, institutional, capacity, transparency and accountability structures in recipient countries as well as the maturity of a pipeline of investments.
  • 14th November 2023 16:00-17:30 GMT: UK International Development Strategy Round Table with Melinda Bohannon - Join us for an in-person round table on the UK’s International Development Strategy, with an address from Guest of Honour, Melinda Bohannon, interim Director General, Humanitarian and Development at the FCDO. Melinda will speak on the UK’s International Development Strategy and address key priorities for the UK in delivering Humanitarian Aid in the context of the broader humanitarian agenda for the FCDO.
  • 15th November 2023 10:00-11:30 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.
  • 22nd November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Challenges and Solutions for Profit Repatriation in African Markets - For multinational organisations operating in Africa, the repatriation of profits can be a challenge in some markets due to currency volatility, foreign exchange controls, economic instability, and regulatory restrictions. Join us as our panel explores some of these complex challenges, and hear from some of the organisations who can help companies navigate them.

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 29th October-2nd November 2023: Egypt Energy Conference and Trade Mission - The UK’s Department for Business & Trade cordially invites you to join our delegation of UK companies under our pavilion at the ‘Egypt Energy’ in Cairo. Egypt Energy is a conference and exhibition for the continent’s most influential clean growth stakeholders. It aims to drive policies; promote innovation and stimulate deals that will position UK business ahead as Africa takes more steps towards sustainable energy.
  • 18th-19th November 2023: Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference, London - Network with a group of seasoned international executives, businesspeople, academia and government officials from Guyana and learn about business opportunities in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in sectors such as energy, technology, healthcare, education, and manufacturing.

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