BEI Weekly Update
Jun 23, 2023

BEI Weekly Update — 23rd June 2023

Whilst the BEI meet-the-Ambassador series continued with great presentations from Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, Guatemala and El Salvador (and will continue with more next week) I’m sure our FCDO friends from those countries won’t mind the observation that the main diplomatic event of the week was URC; the Ukraine Recovery Conference.

Given that two cores of BEI’s membership are international physical and social infrastructure (ID, Education, Skills) it was not surprising to see so many of you represented, whether involved as attendees, as speakers or convening accompanying events around the central conference (special hat-tip to Alinea).

Much will be written by others about the URC, its key takeaways and pointers for the future. I’d simply comment here that U.K. capability, already demonstrated in bucket loads by our D Group defence and BEI international private sector ID members in delivering, respectively, defence capability and emergency and humanitarian aid, is undoubted. Looking ahead to the reconstruction phase though, where there is hardly an area of technical expertise and proven delivery capability where the membership does not have relevant, leading skills, there appear to be two main themes in converting capability into delivered projects. For all participants, but perhaps more obviously for those involved in delivering physical infrastructure to Ukraine clients, there needs to be material de-risking before they engage on-the-ground. This means the availability of comprehensive operational and financial insurance. This is recognised and, we are told, work-in-progress. On the social infrastructure side it’s clear that beyond the very visible humanitarian aid being delivered, huge tasks lie ahead concerning knitting together the less immediately obvious torn fabric of Ukrainian society; huge disruption to education, mental health, separated families, disrupted communities -- and all to be delivered with a commitment to transparency and inclusion.

If you’ll allow this note a final comment on the URC, huge applause to those in HMG who helped pull it together, steer the agenda and attract a very powerful group of politicians of global standing, major private sector commerce and finance and a hugely impressive Ukrainian presence.

In the week of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, members might be interested in three useful articles prepared by our member, Beale & Co relating to key aspects of doing business in Ukraine.  Links to the articles can be found here: REBUILDING UKRAINE PART 1: CONTRACT CONDITIONS; REBUILDING UKRAINE PART 2: FUNDING AND INSURANCE; REBUILDING UKRAINE PART 3: PROCUREMENT

Before the details of recent and up-coming events, I wanted to mention that our ‘Future Leaders Group’ will be kicking off its next cohort in September. With excellent content and a great faculty of subject matter experts, this is an ideal investment in the next generation  of leaders – if you or your organisation would be interested in participating, contact Robin for more details.

I trust you have a restful weekend.

Warm Regards

Peter O’Kane  


British Expertise International/Strategy International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 26th June 2023 10:20-11:20 BST: Meet The Ambassadors: South Africa & Botswana - Join us as we welcome Antony Phillipson & Sian Price, British High Commissioners to South Africa & Botswana.
  • 27th June 2023 09:00-10:00 BST: Meet The Ambassadors: Philippines - Join us as we welcome Laure Beaufils, His Majesty's Ambassador to The Philippines & Palau.
  • 27th July 2023 16:00-17:00 BST: BEI Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Working Group - Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is not bound by geographic borders, instead it is a global agenda. This Working Group supports member organisations in building and executing a consistent high impact approach to EDI, by providing a platform to share best practices and discuss challenges and barriers in a constructive but safe environment.
  • 28th June 2023 16:00-19:00 BST: Developing Global & Local Qualifications and Accreditations - This session will bring together the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and 4 global leaders in delivering the skills framework and in setting internationally recognised standards: Education and Training Foundation, Advance HE,  Ecctis and People 1st.
  • 6th July 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: Egypt Education Deep Dive with the Department for Business and Trade - Join us for a webinar deep dive into the education opportunities in Egypt led by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). Sharif Sabri, Senior Trade Adviser for Healthcare and Education at DBT will provide us with an insight into the key education priorities and an overview of their pipeline.
  • 11th July 2023 15:00-16:00 BST: Gender Equality & Social Inclusion Working Group - Join us for a meeting of the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Working Group. The GESI Working Group has replaced the previous Girls’ Education Working Group following a need to engage on wider matters of equality and inclusion not just related to women and girls, but other marginalised members of society. Following the recent GESI report launch, the Working Group will look to engage with GESI across sectors of: Climate Change; Economic Empowerment; Education; Humanitarian; and Health.
  • 11th July 2023 16:00-19:30 BST: Climate Change Working Group Networking Evening - Join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversations with leaders across UK industry in the climate space. Our keynote speaker will be Dr Iris Soler, Associate Director at Turner & Townsend, who will explore links between water with climate.
  • 12th July 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: Deep Dive on Opportunities in the Water Sector in Egypt - Join us for a deep dive on Opportunities in the Water Sector in Egypt. We will hear from George Yunan from the Department of Business and Trade and from Mohamed Saad from UK Export Finance to gain valuable insights into the future direction of the UK’s relationship with Egypt and the priorities for collaboration in the water sector.
  • 13th July 2023 11:00-13:00 BST: Green Skills: Equipping the Workforce for a Sustainable Future - Join British Expertise International for an in-person panel event on Green Skills in the Skills & Training Working Group. We will be joined by speakers from: Turner & Townsend, The Skills Network, and Climate Sense, who will be presenting on their organisation’s commitment to delivering against the green skills agenda.
  • 18th July 2023 14:00-15:30 BST: Opportunities in Transnational Education (TNE) with the Department for Business and Trade - Join us for an online webinar on Transnational Education (TNE) opportunities with the Department for Business and Trade. We will be joined by Dr Suzanna Tomassi, the Higher Education Specialist from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) who will provide us with a snapshot of the current global trends and opportunities, as well as regions of focus for DBT.
  • 27th July 2023 14:00-15:30 BST: UKEF and Global Britain -- Immediate and medium-term region and sector priorities - Join us Tuesday 20th June from 10:00-11:30 for a roundtable discussion with Tim Reid, the Chief Executive of UK Export Finance (UKEF), discussing ‘UKEF and Global Britain -- Immediate and medium-term region and sector priorities’. The discussion will include current challenges, such as the crisis in Ukraine as well focusing on medium-term priorities, such as U.K. expertise assisting energy transition.

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 18th July: BDO Women Working in Development -  BDO invites you to the re-launch of their Women Working in Development Network and our upcoming event in July. They will be holding a panel discussion focused on the use of KPIs and gender targets within donor programming. This relaunch event will be held in person in the BDO London office, but the panel session and Q&A will be recorded and shared following the event. Please use the link above to register!

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