Dear Members and Friends,
On a public stage, this week saw a step change in the actions being taken to combat climate change, with significant announcements here in the UK, coupled with a decisive statement by President Biden on the commitment in the US to halve the emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. Whilst there were no specific additional commitments made by the key markets of India and China, this now does seem to be becoming a truly global and increasingly aligned approach in the run up to COP26 later this year.
Our own Climate Change Working Group met in the week, and agreed to focus its efforts in five over-arching themes: ‘The Built Environment’, ‘Flood and Weather Risk’, ‘Sustainable Energy Solutions’, ‘Nature Based Solutions’ and ‘Climate Finance’. We look forward to the opportunity to showcase the expertise of our members in helping countries around the world tackle this defining issue for our generation. We are also looking forward to hosting (virtually) Lord Deben on May 5th. Please register to attend here, and for information about this Working Group, please contact Joe.
In the last few days, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab began to share the details around the budget cuts in ODA. Whilst the details are still limited, we remain concerned about the impact, not only on existing programmes and the benefits they can bring, but also on the fact that this continuing uncertainty is now having a tangible impact on future pipeline. This in turn puts pressure on staff retention for players in the market.
This week, we ran two very well attended sessions in our programme covering the Central Asia and Trans-Caucasus region, with deep dives into opportunities in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan. We learned that, while Kyrgyzstan offers many opportunities for UK businesses and investors, their human capital is by far the country’s greatest asset and there is a vibrant start-up scene, which is supported by one of the cheapest mobile internet connections in the world. The Azerbaijan session focused on opportunities outside the Oil and Gas sector, and we look forward to a follow-up session on alternative energy in a few months’ time. The series continues with a Deep Dive into opportunities in Uzbekistan on 11th May, and an event on water management in the region later in the spring.
Next week, we look forward to our session on Risk Mapping in The Middle East, with Control Risks, a specialist risk mapping consultancy on 29th April. The session will detail the major trends shaping the risk environment for businesses, and how these trends will unfold in the Middle East and North Africa region. To register, book here.
Next week we are also starting with the first two closed roundtable discussions in our ‘Meet the Trade Envoy’ series, with Martin Vickers MP for South East Europe and Mark Menzies MP for Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina. If you are interested in participating in one of the Trade Envoy discussions, please contact Ingrid.
Our sister company, and independent think tank The British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG), produced a new report, The UK’s Foreign Policy Tribes: Understanding Polarisation and Cohesion on International Affairs, and investigates the complex, evolving nature of UK public opinion on foreign affairs. This project builds on the BFPG’s Annual Survey of Public Opinion on Foreign Policy and Global Britain — the most comprehensive dataset of public attitudes towards international affairs.
Finally, as a football fan, I was initially dismayed to hear about the potential breakaway by leading clubs across Europe and the chaos that ensued, but delighted to see that common sense prevailed, and a recognition that football is nothing without its fans. It is always heartening to see a community raising its voice, being heard and recognised.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
Take advantage of the new Job Board on our website to post your organisation’s vacancies, currently this facility is available for free.
Currently all our events are hosted virtually and look forward to exploring hybrid event options as the government eases socialising restrictions. For any event registration support please contact Matthew Gibbons. 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*.
26th April* — Education Working Group Meeting
27th April* — Closed Roundtable Discussion with Trade Envoy Martin Vickers MP
29th April* — Closed Roundtable Discussion with Trade Envoy Mark Menzies MP
29th April — Risk Mapping in the Middle East
5th May — Leave No One Behind — Concept to Action
6th May* — Closed Roundtable Discussion with Trade Envoy Mark Menzies MP
6th May — In Conversation with Lord Deben
11th May* — Uzbekistan Deep Dive
25th May — Doing Business in Indonesia
27th May* — Ethiopia Deep Dive
9th June — Doing Business in Pakistan
External News & Events
Over the coming months, the Department for International Trade (DIT) will host a series of events on clean growth in partnership with overseas colleagues.
27th April — The British Embassy Colombia, KPMG, and the UK-Colombia Prosperity Programme will host an event on regional opportunities in infrastructure. Follow this link to register.
18th May — The British-Kazakh Society is hosting a webinar on ‘Science and Industry in Central Asia — Dynamic degrees: Unpacking Advanced Qualifications and Skills, Pathways for Scientific and Industrial Development’ with lecturer Dr. Miljana Radivojevic from University College London and Dr. Ainur Seitkan from Astana International University.
18th — 19th May –The Department for International Trade and UK Export Finance is holding a supplier fair for the Ministerial City Project Benin, which will provide great opportunities in infrastructure for UK businesses. Please register by 13th May.
8th June — Join SBJBC in an engaging webinar showcasing: Technology and Digital Cooperation Opportunities at NEOM & THE LINE. This virtual workshop hosted by SBJBC will include an update on the project’s concept and progress from Simon Ainslie, Chief Operating Officer at NEOM. Interactive panels will follow on opportunities for innovative UK and Saudi companies to partner on the technology infrastructure required for this visionary project.
13th — 16th July — The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology will host an interactive online course on Spatial Analysis in QGIS and R — An Introduction for Environmental Scientists.
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