Dear Members and Friends,
With the 2020 BEI Awards behind us, we now look ahead to plans for next year. Thank you to those of you who provided some feedback — this will guide our thinking as we start thinking about 2021.
We hosted an interesting discussion this week where panellists shared their perspectives on the global direction for the newly formed Foreign Commonweath and Development Office (FCDO). Key insights included the need to effectively leverage one of UK’s greatest soft power assets and exports in UK aid. Panellists agreed that the new department needs to engage and consult widely with stakeholders and the public in developing a cohesive foreign policy. Additional advice for the new department was to place issues of good governance, democracy and human rights at the core of their mission. It was felt an integrated UK international offering makes sense, foreign policy needs to balance interests and values — the UK is already viewed as a global leader in aid, and the trade piece needs to be aligned as part of the international offering.
On the heels of the recently published UK Safeguarding strategy, the FCDO have just published a report on the Cross-Sector Progress Report on Safeguarding Against Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Sexual Harassment (SEAH) 2019–2020. The report provides an update on activities over the past 12 months to further drive up safeguarding standards. This includes an update on the private sector commitments of 2018. Two years on from the October 2018 summit, positive progress has been made.
As part of our programme planning, and following the announcement of additional Trade Envoys for the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Programme, we will be looking to engage with Envoys focusing on key markets of interest. The cross-party network programme supports the UK’s ambitious trade and investment agenda in global markets. The new appointments have extended the total number of Trade Envoys to 31 parliamentarians covering 69 markets, with a few positions still to be filled.
Our sister organisation, The D Group, in partnership with GRI Strategies, invite you to complete a short geopolitical risk survey. The survey will explore your firm’s perceptions of political/geopolitical risk, where and how it may impact your operations and your firm’s internal approaches to considering risk, its corporate impacts and response. The survey responses will be analysed to produce an anonymised, bespoke report of how international firms are being affected by this issue, how they are adapting and what more they could do. The findings and key lines from the report will then be presented back to participants during an interactive event in which attendees can follow up on some of the issues raised. Please click here to take the survey.
On 3rd November, we are continuing our deep-dive series with a look at Kuwait — A Country of Growing Market Opportunities. British Ambassador to Kuwait, H.E. Michael Davenport and his team will discuss the opportunities and benefits of doing business in Kuwait, and in addition provide an update on the political and economic climate in the country. Key sectors of opportunity include infrastructure, energy, and food processing.
On 4th November, BEI turns to Colombia, featuring UK Ambassador His Excellency Colin Martin-Reynolds, for an event Exploring Business Opportunities in Colombia. There are exciting prospects for UK companies doing business in Colombia, which is ranked 2nd in Latin America by the World Bank for ease of doing business.
On 5th November, BEI will host H.E. Daniel Pruce, British Ambassador to the Philippines for an event on the Philippines and Business Opportunities for UK Plc. There are major opportunities for UK companies in the Philippines particularly in the infrastructure, education and technology sectors. This event will provide country-specific insights focusing on the opportunities for UK companies and support provided to UK companies.
Future Events Highlights…
On 10th November, join us in collaboration with the Law Society, to discuss the future of UK-Singapore Legal Sector collaboration after the pandemic — what future partnerships may look like, opportunities for UK businesses, and what ‘building back better’ might mean in the legal sector.
As one of the strongest economies in Africa, Nigeria is a key partner for British businesses working in the region. Join us on 11th November for an expert analysis of the political and economic picture in Nigeria, focused on both the challenges and opportunities for UK companies operating in the country, what recent measures might mean for them, and how to enter the Nigerian market.
Social Development is about putting people at the centre of development. It is about ensuring social, economic and political inclusion to maximise opportunities for all; the empowerment of the poor and the most vulnerable and excluded people; and accountability in development processes. Join us on November 12th as our panel shares stories of social development in action during this Covid-19 crisis, lessons being learnt and what recovery may look like.
Remember to join our LinkedIn Group!
We are more active than ever on the BEI LinkedIn Group, where we share insights, highlight upcoming events and showcase our members’ latest news and thought leadership. Join the group here.
With Best Wishes
Chief Operating Officer
British Expertise International