BEI Weekly Update
Sep 22, 2023

BEI Weekly Update — 22nd September 2023

Dear Members and Friends

I hope your week has gone well so far and it’s pleasing to see that, for so many of our members, some of the week has been spent with us, either in person or online. I’ve had the chance to meet more members this week and to learn more about what you do and what you want to do more of. For me, everything we at BEI do has to add real value for our members, enabling you to gain insights, make connections and showcase your expertise that help you succeed. You know your own business best, but from what I’ve seen and heard from members, I’m convinced that we can add the last few percent that can make the difference. I’ve been particularly pleased to hear from some members their ideas about other services that BEI could provide. Please keep them coming, and we’ll consider them all carefully.

I’d like to focus on two highlights this week. Our “meet the Development Director” series continued with Pakistan, following on from a successful “meet the Ambassador” event which I chaired with the Acting High Commissioner a few months ago. This time we were very grateful to Jo Moir for explaining FCDO’s plans for Pakistan for Q3 and next year, highlighting that the country’s FCDO budget might be as high as £133m for FY 24/25. Jo’s team are currently working on providing BEI with an updated timeline of open opportunities for FY 23/24, which we will share with our members. We’re looking forward to further events in this series, focusing on Bangladesh and Nepal in the next few weeks. You can/will be able to find details on our website here.

The big event in Grafton Street this week was yesterday’s launch of the technical guide, ‘Financing and Implementing Nature-based Solutions in Urban Areas - a Guide for Local Actors’. The Guide was developed by our Nature-based Solutions Working Group in partnership with lead authors DT Global, with contributions from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, C40 Cities and other international stakeholders. At the launch, we heard from Mark Harvey, Head of Profession (Infrastructure & Urban cadre) and Senior Infrastructure Adviser at the FCDO and from Aris Moro from C40 Cities Finance Facility, and from a panel of BEI members who shared their experience in developing and executing NbS projects and offered insights on how to develop successful projects, engage stakeholders and overcome obstacles to successful project delivery. We believe that this report will be of real value to local and regional authorities and project implementers, as well as donor and finance organisations. You can download your copy of the Guide here

And some more very good news for BEI and our reach into the highest levels of UK plc.  Peter O’Kane, Chairman of our parent Strategy International, has attended his first meeting of the Board of Trade following his appointment by Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch. The Board of Trade, the long-established institution that guides Government’s trade policy, has been given a more practical results-focused mandate by the Secretary of State and Peter’s appointment demonstrates the value put on the contribution of BEI and our sister organisation D Group to the country’s prosperity. Many congratulations to Peter. We look forward to hearing his insights.

And finally, after all this week’s excitement, my very good wishes for a well-earned weekend. 

Best Wishes

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman
British Expertise International 

Recordings of recent past events:

  • 13th September 2023: FCDO Development Director Series: Ethiopia
  • 19th September 2023: FCDO Development Director Series: Pakistan

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 25th September 2023 09:00-10:30 BST: Peru - Consultancy Opportunities with ProInversión - Join us at 23 Grafton Street to meet a delegation from ProInversión, the Peruvian State agency in charge of structuring and promoting infrastructure projects under PPP. This BEI roundtable will provide an opportunity for UK-based consultants to review new projects and understand how the consultant selection processes work with ProInversión.
  • 26th September 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: Intersections with Climate Change in International Development - The BEI ‘Intersections with Climate Change’ event series brings a focus on the intersections of climate change remediation and adaptation with other development priorities. As we re-launch the series for the autumn, our panel will discuss the importance of considering intersections with Climate Change across International Development programming and interventions.
  • 27th September 2023 09:00-11:00 BST: 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. This discussion will provide an overview of what standards are and their importance in the education sector.
  • 3rd October 2023 16:00-18:30 BST: Ed Tech Panel Event - Join us for an in-person panel event covering the topic of Education Technology. We will be joined by the Education and Training Foundation, Tata Consulting Service and SmartPA. Our panellists will provide an in-depth understanding of the innovation and reach that EdTech provides, as well as best practices in delivering EdTech.
  • 10th October 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: Ukraine Recovery | Security, Insurance and Contracting - British Expertise International continues its engagement on Ukraine recovery and reconstruction with a virtual panel event providing practical advice to UK organisations in the key areas of risk, security, insurance and contracting.
  • 11th October 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: Intersection of Climate Change and Education - Education is integral to promoting positive climate action as it aids people in understanding the impacts of the climate crisis and how to address them. Organisations delivering international development programming in education must consider the current and future impacts of climate change. This needs to be reflected in immediate programming (for example, in improving access) as well as curriculum development more broadly.
  • 17th October 2023 10:15-11:15 BST: FCDO Development Director Series: Nepal - Join us as we host Pippa Bird, the Development Director in Nepal for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Nepal.
  • 17th October 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures - Join us at 23 Grafton Street or virtually as we showcase the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework. If joining in person, please feel free to arrive from 14:30 for tea/coffee/networking. If you are joining us virtually, the Teams link for the 15:00-16:00 meeting will be shared with you following registration.
  • 19th October 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Operational Sustainability - In the time of climate crisis, it is paramount that businesses continuously evaluate and improve sustainability within all of their activities. Our panel will discuss how organisations can understand, assess, improve and communicate their environmental sustainability at the operational level, taking into account the international policy landscape and regulation, and building the business case for sustainability.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

External Events:
  • 2-5th October 2023: Africa Partnership Conference - The Africa Partnership Conference (APC) is a high-level networking and collaborative platform hosted by the Economic Development Board of Mauritius with the strategic aim of creating a sustainable and inclusive investment value chain for Africa. It is the flagship conference linking project promoters from across several African countries including Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) to venture capitalists fund managers, DFIs, tax advisors, institutional investors and entrepreneurs with a view to create greater collaboration in enabling insightful debates on the key issues shaping Africa’s prospects for growth. 
  • 12-13th October 2023: Hydrogen Conference in Maseru - Metsi Ke Bophelo is the organizer of Lesotho’s first Water And Hydrogen In a Digital Future – Conference & Expo, that will be held at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre on 12 and 13 October 2023, in Maseru- Lesotho.

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