Dear Members and Friends,
Yesterday, I joined an event with the UK Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, at the London Stock Exchange as she announced both a new name and a new strategy for CDC. It will now be known as British International Investment, signifying the increased breadth of the organisation and its role as part of the UK Government’s international development financing offer. You can find a short summary of the strategy here.
On 22nd November, we hosted an Education Working Group Roundtable with Alicia Herbert OBE, Director of Education, Gender and Equality (EDGE)and the Special Envoy for Gender Equality at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Alicia was joined by Emily Woolf, Senior Education Advisor, to deliver a wide-ranging presentation that included an outline of EDGE Structures and an update on 2021 activities linked to the Girls’ Education Action Plan. Alicia and Emily then discussed a range of issues with members of the BEI Education Working Group, and we have agreed some exciting next steps for our engagement with the Directorate.
On 23rd November, we welcomed the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UK, His Excellency Mr Elin Suleymanov, for an in-person meeting and networking reception. This was the Ambassador’s first public business event since his arrival in London in July 2021, and we were joined by members from a range of sectors, including Education, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Engineering, Energy and International Development, which speaks to the diversity of British business interest in Azerbaijan. The Ambassador treated us to a tour de force, with the discussion covering opportunities in all the above sectors and beyond, and we look forward to several strands of follow up activity in the new year.
On 25th November we were delighted to host a lunch with Andrew Mitchell CMG, Director General Exports and UK Trade at the UK Department for International Trade (DIT). Following on from the recent publication of the Government’s Export Strategy, Andrew provided an insightful and detailed breakdown of how UK exporters will look to benefit from continued HMG support. The establishment of a Trade and Services Council was generally well received, but with few details and some clarity on its terms of reference, BEI and members look forward to being actively engaged and involved in the Council’s work.
On the same day, 25th November we hosted an event on Doing Business with USAID with Mike Shanley, CEO of AidKonekt. With development companies looking to diversify their client base, insights on areas of opportunity in delivering US government development programmes provided some useful options. Mike also shared an online tool they have developed to support those interested in the market, but pointed out that working on USAID projects requires a lot of time investment, in some instances years.
Next week, we continue our ‘Meet the Trade Envoy’ series on 30th November with a — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Lord Davies, who covers Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a growing market and its geographical location in South Asia makes it an attractive base from which to reach a regional market of over 1.6 billion people.
On 1st December, our Education Working Group will continue their discussions with multi-lateral bodies in an event with UNICEF & Education Systems Recovery. We are delighted to welcome back Robert Jenkins, Global Director of Education for UNICEF, to explore UNICEF’s role in rebuilding the education sector and their continuing journey to tackle some of the most critical issues facing education systems globally. UNICEF have continued to play a central role in the recovery from the global education crisis. At the BEI Education Working Group’s Recover Learning, Rebuild Education launch event a few months ago, Rob Jenkins set out some of UNICEF’s key focuses and lessons learned during the pandemic. Six months on from this presentation, we look forward to hearing how the identified thematic areas have continued to be developed and what new areas of focus the organisation has begun to identify.
For the art enthusiasts, our sister company and art gallery, D Contemporary will be hosting an exhibition intuit by Mirella Bandini, the winner of the ArtCan Inspire 2021 prize. The exhibition opens next Tuesday until Friday 3rd December, with a private viewing Tuesday 30th November from 6pm until 8.30pm. If you wish to join us RSVP here to secure your space. intuit delves into human connections with the earth, the natural world and the universe in general. Exploring dream worlds and fantasies; hidden emotions and expressions of the undiscovered.
To cap my week, I was invited to a reception for the Nigerian High Commissioner, marking his birthday as well as, more importantly, presenting his credentials to the Queen. The occasion was marked with great celebration, and we wish His Excellency, Sarafa Tunji Isola, a successful tenure in London.
I hope you will have a relaxing weekend in spite of the slightly stormy forecast we are being warned about.
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*.
30th November — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Lord Davies
1st December — UNICEF & Education Systems Recovery
7th December — Jamaica: Infrastructure Opportunities
9th December* — ICAI Report — UK Aid’s Alignment with the Paris Agreement
14th December — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Marco Longhi
13th January* — Project Acquisition Software — DevelopmentAid
18th January* — Lunch with UK Export Finance CEO Louis Taylor
19th January* — The FCDO & Global Health Priorities
27th January — Doing Business & Opportunities with the EBRD
External News & Events
30th November- DIT is hosting Japan Market Briefing which is part of the Technology Growth Programme. The aim is to support UK based SMEs to grow their overseas presence. Colleagues from the British Embassy in Tokyo, JEITA, and the Japan Fintech Association will be joining us. For more information and to register please visit here.
30th November — Join the UK Department for International Trade in the Webinar “Low Carbon Maritime and Port Industries” to find more about synergies and opportunities in Brazil. The country has a growing demand for environmentally sustainable performance and a need to use greener fuels and low carbon technologies. In this sense, relations between British and Brazilian companies could not be more synergistic, especially on the Maritime and Port Industries. With a vibrant sector and great prospects for expansion, Brazil will be able to make good use of British technology to adapt itself to the challenges of the future these industries. To register and for further information, please click here.
7th December — UK Export Finance is hosting their fourth UK Trade and Export Finance Forum. They will return to the QEII Conference Centre in London from 09:00–19:00. This event will look at the role of trade finance in the transition towards clean growth and renewable energy. Learn more and register here.
9th- 11th December- The UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is running their ‘In the Future… How will we Learn?’ event programme. Hosted at the UK Pavilion, these events will convene a range of international experts and ministers and explore some of the most pressing educational issues of the day. Further information on the ‘How will we Learn?’ programme at the UK Pavilion can be found here.
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