BEI Weekly Update
Nov 25, 2022

BEI Weekly Update — 25th November 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

Another busy week behind us, which has included a fascinating evening discussing the challenges and opportunities as we seek to build plans, monitoring and measurement approaches for ESG. We have also explored opportunities for working with both CABEI and the CDB.

As highlighted last week, our Director of Education and Skills, Luisa Edves attended the Wilton Park — ASEAN Skills Challenge Conference, which brought together all the Ministers of Education and Labour from the ASEAN region. The conference built a successful dialogue between UK and ASEAN partners on how to better enable the skills sector. A series of interesting and innovative case studies were presented by the Ministries from Philippines and Malaysia and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) on TVET frameworks implemented across the region and at national level. The conclusions from the conference were:

  • Funding is crucial in being able to drive Skills & Training programmes
  • There is a fundamental need for Governments, Education providers and Industry to come together in order to deliver the right set of skills across nations
  • Importance of changing the negative social norms and views on vocational qualifications vs. higher education degrees

These were all points which emerged in our first Skills and Training Working Group. On 1st December we will host our second Skills & Training Working Group during which Luisa will review the summary from the first session and present further information on the conference’s outputs and plans to engage in the region.

Members might be interested in the latest review published by ICAI which looks at UK aid spend on Afghanistan. The review found that UK aid provided valuable support to people in Afghanistan, including women and girls, but lacked a realistic approach to building a viable Afghan state. It also found that the UK’s commitment to partnership with the US led to some poor choices on the use of UK aid and questions the use of aid for funding Afghan police counter-insurgency operations. You can access a copy of the report here.

On climate, the dust is finally beginning to settle after an action-packed two weeks in Sharm El Sheikh for COP27. This was the first COP to be held in Africa since 2016, with 190 countries represented and an estimated 35,000 delegates in attendance, all eyes were on Egypt and its outcomes. Loss and Damages was the phrase on everyone’s minds as a significant step was made on the level of climate justice, as a pooled fund was agreed upon by member states. The agreement itself, whilst setting a positive framework on a broad scale, failed to place stringent controls on limiting fossils fuels, jeopardising the 1.5° limit of warming agreed in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, with warming on a trajectory remaining to exceed 1.5° by 2031. There is still quite a cause for optimism as the agreement itself has further opened the path for funding on a multilateral scale for mitigation and adaptation efforts. This fund will provide assistance to the countries most vulnerable to the climate crisis and recognised the need for financial support from a variety of sources. We look forward to sharing more thoughts on the outcomes of COP27 in a dedicated piece next week — watch this space.

In terms of forthcoming events, please see the following:

29th November: Roundtable with inbound Philippines delegation: ‘New Clark City Investment Roadshow and Study Visit’
In-person event 13:00 for 14:00–15:30 GMT. BEI is organising an in-person networking lunch and knowledge sharing roundtable with the delegation, which includes the President and CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as well as their Transportation expert and Infrastructure Advisor, among others, to meet with UK organisations and hear about their expertise and experience. Specifically, the roundtable will provide the opportunity to discuss the New Clark City masterplan and present relevant UK case studies on smart cities development, in three key areas — sustainable finance, transport and energy.

29th November: Doing Business with the Caribbean Development Bank — Session Two: Education, Social, Trade and Governance
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT. The second session in this year’s ‘Doing Business with the CDB’ seminar will cover opportunities in Education, Social, Trade and Governance, whilst also providing insights on key sector plans and opportunities for UK Business.

30th November: Africa’s Development Dynamics 2022
Virtual event 10:00–11:30 GMT. Arthur Minsat, who heads the OECD Development Centre’s Unit for Africa, Middle East and Europe, will share the highlights of this flagship report prepared by the African Union Commission and of the OECD Development Centre.

5th December: Doing Business with the UN and Multi-Lateral Development Banks
Sandwich lunch and 1–1 Meetings. From 12.30pm to 4pm. We will be hosting four key DIT leads who are responsible for helping to access UN and Multi-Lateral Development Bank procurement opportunities. We will be joined by Joanne Ganthier, Senior Trade Adviser, British Embassy, Copenhagen; Marie Gow , Senior Trade Officer from the British Embassy in Geneva, Nathaniel Sears, Trade and Investment Officer from the British Consulate in New York and Sherry-Ann Blackett, Senior Trade Officer from the British Embassy in Barbados. There will be an exclusive opportunity for you to meet the guest speakers for an in-person one-to-one meeting, as they visit the UK. Join us from 12.30 for a light lunch, with 1–1 bookings available from 1pm. You can review a slide pack that supports these 1–1’s here. Please register here and contact Max to confirm your 1–1 slot(s).

7th December: Colombia — Market Opportunity Overview
Virtual event 14:00–15:30 GMT. Join us as we host George Hodgson, His Majesty’s Ambassador to Colombia and his team to explore opportunities in Colombia for UK based businesses. After a long period of conflict, Colombia has emerged as a strong economy in its region. It has one of the largest populations and economies in Latin America.

7th December: BEI x BFPG Education Clinic
In-person event 11:30–13:00 GMT. BEI is delighted to announce the launch of their Clinics, a series of workshops in which we will look to explore the practicalities of working with donors, foundations, international organisations, and foreign policy affecting the British businesses.

8th December: Gabon Market Overview (save the date)
Virtual event 10:00–11:00 GMT. Gabon has not been on the radar of many UK organisations to date, however now is a great time to learn about this market and explore opportunities that are expected to start coming down the line over the next few years. Specifically, Gabon is looking to the UK for expertise across education, skills development, climate resilience and adaptation, and regulatory reform.

Very Best Wishes  

Peter O’Kane
British Expertise International/Strategy International

Summary of events held in the last two weeks

Which feature links to meetings slides / recordings

22nd November: Doing Business with CABEI
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT. Recording Available Here.

22nd November: An ESG Masterclass — The Why, The What And The How
In person panel event and networking reception. 16:30 for 17:00–19:30 GMT. Slides Available Here.

24th November: Doing Business with the Caribbean Development Bank — Session one: Infrastructure, Energy and Environment
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT. Recording and Slides available here.

Upcoming external events

29th November: Business Opportunity Briefing on “New Clark City: The Philippines’ Sustainable Future city and Green Investment Destination”. Herringham Hall, Regents University London Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NS. New Clark City is the Philippine government’s response to the overstressed confines of Metro Manila. the 9,450 ha New Clark City is the first green, disaster-resilient, inclusive and sustainable metropolis in the country that will provide unmatched potential for the Philippines, its neighbours, and its investors to be a global economic force. This event will showcase the exciting pipeline of projects in New Clark City. Registration can be found here.

29th November 2022. Spearfish, a new BEI member, provide tailored security solutions for organisations operating in complex and high-risk environments. They plan to run an OPEN Heat Course Day on Tuesday, 29th November. Attendees will include clients from the Development, Government, Humanitarian and Private sectors. The day will start at 10 am and attendees will be taken through some exercises run on Spearfish’s courses. Attendees will also meet the First Aid Trainer, Lead Trainer, and Ukrainian and Nigerian country-specific experts who will be on hand to talk about the specific security challenges facing both countries today. There will also be a lunch and an opportunity to talk and network with other guests. Follow this link for more details: SPEARFISH OPEN HEAT DAY INVITATION. Any questions about the day please do not hesitate to get in touch directly with

30th November: UBTIC (Uzbek-British Trade and Industry Council) meeting in Tashkent. Attendees can expect high-level participation, including DIT’s General Director, Andrew Mitchell, HMTC Kenan Poleo and Uzbek DPM Jamshid Khodjaev. Alongside this high-level government participation, UBTIC will bring together an impressive roster of senior executives and sector experts for a day of roundtable discussions from both UK and Uzbek businesses. Register here by 25th November.

7th December: 09:00–11:00 GMT. Ukraine’s economy: stabilisation, rebuilding and the role of the EBRD. Available to watch live on EBRD’s social media channels, including LinkedIn and More information can be found via this link.

8th December: 09:00–10:35 GMT. Webinar. Export Opportunities in Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos. Register here.

8–9th December: Bishkek Investment Summit. Further information can be found via this link.

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