Dear Members and Friends,
A week after the announcement of changes in the organisational structure within FCDO, we await further clarity on the implications of these on both policy and operating protocols. What does appear to be indicated by the moves is a greater shift towards geography-specific focus and the related security issues. I look forward to discussing this and any other feedback members have had in the coming weeks.
This week, we were delighted to host a Lunch with Vietnam’s Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Mr Hoang Long Nguyen. During the lunch, the Ambassador gave an overview of Vietnam’s economy and growth prognosis as well as a useful summary of the current trade relationship — with hopes for significant progress across a whole range of sectors, including all those represented at British Expertise International: education and skills, infrastructure, and professional services. With an ambitious target to double the Vietnam-UK bilateral trade (which currently stands at $6.7bn USD) within the next three years, this was a brilliant opportunity for members to meet with the Ambassador as well as members of an inbound delegation from the AIC Group, a Vietnamese multi-sectoral corporation with a track record in supporting international partnerships.
This lunch was part of a wider series of events focusing on both Vietnam and its ASEAN neighbours, including last week’s Education event in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat that brought our members together with Education Ministries from the entire region.
Next week, on Thursday 31st March 2022, we will be hosting the latest in our virtual Deep Dive Series, focusing on Climate and Infrastructure related opportunities in Vietnam. We are delighted to be joined by Oliver Todd, HM Consul General for Vietnam, and the DIT Team who will provide a download on the latest political and economic overview, along with specific updates on Infrastructure and Climate related opportunities. Please register here.
Next Thursday evening, we are hosting the Private View of an art exhibition in partnership with the Vietnamese Embassy featuring the work of the 14-year-old prodigy Xeo Chu. Members and friends are welcome to join us and our guests from the London-based diplomatic corps at the Private View — for more detail and to register, click here: Xeo Chu Exhibition: Private Viewing.
To complete our current series focusing on South East Asia, we are delighted to announce another in-person event: on 7th April we look forward to hosting a panel discussion in partnership with our sister companies The D Group and BFPG on the subject of ‘The Indo-Pacific Tilt — one year on’. Our panel will explore the progress made and potential changes from a geo-political, security and trade perspective, and are delighted to welcome Andrew Mitchell CMG, Director General for Exports and UK Trade at DIT as part of the panel. Please click here for more information and to register.
With our annual ‘Meet the British Ambassadors’ series due to take place from 13th to 23rd June 2022, I also wanted to mention another date to hold in your diaries. After something of a hiatus, we are delighted to announce that the BEI Awards will be returning as an in-person event. After the challenges of the last couple of years, we look forward to celebrating the very best of British expertise and the impact it has globally. Our plan is to organise a one-day conference, coupled with the Awards ceremony itself. We have booked the date of 5th October 2022. We will share more details in the coming weeks, together with the details of how you and your organisation can submit entries for the awards.
Finally, it looks as if our outbreak of early spring sunshine will continue for another day or two, and I hope this provides you with the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing and sunny weekend.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
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Currently most of our events are hosted virtually and we are starting to explore face to face and hybrid event options as the government eases socialising restrictions. For any event registration support please contact the events team. 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*.
31st March — Vietnam Deep Dive: Infrastructure and Climate Change
4th April — BEI Education Working Group
7th April — In-person event: The Indo Pacific Tilt*
11th April — BEI Girls’ Education Working Group
13th April — Lunch with Mike Short: Chief Scientific Advisor
External News & Events
March 29th — Winning Contracts Masterclasses, please click here to find out more.
April 5th 2pm (BST) DIT ‘Doing Business with the UN and Multi-Lateral Development Banks’ The Department for International Trade (DIT) are hosting a session for #UK companies seeking to learn more about the UN, Multi-Lateral Development Banks, procurement processes, best practice and tools available. There will also be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Register here: https://lnkd.in/g3mvGHgY
Mid April (dates TBC) — British Embassy in Tashkent is inviting UK companies to attend its flagship event — Uzbek British Trade and Investment Council (UBTIC). This is the official bilateral trade and investment forum convened by the governments of the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan. For more details, please contact Komila.Khamidova@fcdo.gov.uk.
25th — 29th April — Spatial analysis in QGIS and R — An Introduction for Environmental Scientists. Running over four half-day sessions, this hands-on and interactive online course will give you an introduction to spatial data analysis in an open-source environment. For more information click here and to sign up and pay online click here.
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