BEI Weekly Update
Mar 31, 2023

BEI Weekly Update — 31st March 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

It was entirely fitting in the week that the UK joined the CPTPP trade bloc that we were privileged to hold two events in partnership with the Vietnamese embassy, as part of this year’s celebration of 50 years of UK/VietNam diplomatic relations. Our in-house art gallery, D Contemporary, showed a range of contemporary Vietnamese art, hosting a stimulating mix of art enthusiasts, a good number of the ASEAN diplomatic corps and the world of business. In a first for British Expertise we also hosted a fashion-show by leading Vietnamese designers. Interesting to see our team’s versatility extending to the catwalk....

Back to CPTPP, do read the commentary by our associated think-tank, BFPG. There will be plenty of cynics about what membership of the bloc will deliver for UK prosperity. But the positive attitude is to see it in its own right as a major growth opportunity in a very substantial market, particularly for sectors where our members excel,  rather than frame it in terms of it being a poor substitute for lost access to the EU market. It's a new opportunity. Not a replacement.

Elsewhere there are reports from Lara and Luisa following their roundtable event on education in the LATAC region this week, and Alexandra who attended a Navruz celebration at the Uzbek Embassy, marking the coming of Spring.

Warm regards,

Peter O’Kane  


British Expertise International/Strategy International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 6th April 2023 10:00-11:15 BST: Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon Education Deep Dive with DIT - Join us for a deep dive into the education opportunities in Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon as led by teams from the Department for International Trade and Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. They will aim to provide us with an insight into the key education priorities for UK plc looking to do business in the three countries.
  • 11th April 2023 12:30-13:30 BST: UKEF and Global Britain - Immediate and medium-term region and sector priorities - Join us Tuesday 11th April from 12:30-13:30 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.
  • 12th April 2023 16:00-19:00 BST: Girls Education Challenge: Lessons Learnt - In-person panel event on the Girls’ Education Challenge, a 12-year FCDO flagship programme. We will be joined by the FCDO Girls’ Education Team as well as the alliance partners including Cambridge Education Mott MacDonald, Social Development Direct, PwC, Nathan Associates, and Tetra Tech.
  • 13th April 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Brazil - Opportunities in the Water Sector - Brazil has some of the highest water availability in the world, but is unfortunately hindered by outdated WASH infrastructure. There is a huge need to accelerate access to water and sanitation across the country. This session will showcase some of the exciting current opportunities for UK expertise across water infrastructure and technology.
  • 18th April 2023 16:00-18:00 BST: Roundtable with Mark Garnier, UK’s Trade Envoy to Viet Nam - Join us for an in-person roundtable with Mark Garnier, the United Kingdom’s Trade Envoy to Viet Nam who will provide members with his vision for Viet Nam as the newly appointed Trade Envoy. BEI members will also have the opportunity to share with Mark their business perspectives on Viet Nam.
  • 19th April 2023 16:00-18:30 BST: In conversation with Andrew Dunnett -  In-person roundtable meeting with Andrew Dunnett, Group Director of ESG, Sustainable Business and Foundations at Vodafone. Andrew will lead a discussion on the importance of ESG and private sector’s role in implementing impactful ESG programmes.
  • 20th April 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Understanding Climate Risks - Our panel will discuss the transformation of climate risk into financial risk for business, as well as the thought processes utilised by financiers in selecting what organisations and projects to finance based on how they analyse their risk portfolio.
  • 25th April 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Making Climate Change Programming More Inclusive - We are delighted to have a panel including speakers from Options, Palladium, Social Development Direct and Sightsavers to speak about how their organisations are making climate change programming more inclusive. They will share insights from various projects, programmes and frameworks relating to biodiversity, health, disability and how they’re making a positive change in these areas.
  • 26th April 2023 13:30-15:30 BST: Roundtable with Mark Eastwood, UK’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan - Mark Eastwood, the United Kingdom’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan who will speak to the subject of Government-to-Government discussions between the UK and Pakistan on infrastructure, renewables, and education, and will provide members with an update on the current trade dialogue between the two countries.
  • 27th April 2023 11:00-14:00 BST: Donor Clinic: Doing business with USAID, in partnership with Konektid International - In-person donor clinic workshop on Doing Business with USAID, in partnership with Konektid International. Mike Shanley, CEO of Konektid International will share best practices on growing your organisations’ work with USAID, funding opportunities and tips for navigating the procurement process, as well as changes to USAID funding following the New Partnerships Initiative and Biden Administration.
  • 11th May 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Strengthening Resilience against Shocks and Stressors in LMICs: A 3ie Evidence Gap Map and Report - In a time where the effects of climate change, human-made disasters, and recurring crisis are contributing to multifaceted and complex emergencies globally, one of the key tools to mitigate these impacts is resilience. Join us as we launch 3ie’s latest Evidence Gap Map report, focused on strengthening resilience against these shocks and stresses in L&MICs!
  • 16th May 2023 10:00-11:30 BST: The Social Impacts of Energy Transition in Africa - This event will examine some of the social impacts of energy transition on the African continent. We will hear from our panel on their experience of what they are already seeing on the ground in markets that have seen the swiftest transition to renewable energy sources and discuss the potential future in terms of where our panel see the energy transition bringing the greatest societal benefits – and challenges – in the short and longer term.
  • 16th May 2023 15:00-16:30 BST: Peru infrastructure pipeline with ProInversión - We are pleased to welcome Peru’s promotion agency, ProInversión, who will provide an overview of the latest infrastructure pipeline including projects in energy, highways and water treatment plans. ProInversión is a specialized technical agency, attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with legal status under public law, technical, functional, administrative, economic and financial autonomy.
  • 18th May 2023 12:30-14:30 BST: Meet the Trade Envoy for Bangladesh, Rushanara Ali - Rushanara Ali MP. Rushanara will provide members with an overview of the future developments and market priorities in Bangladesh, as well as upcoming Government-to-Government plans and future engagements between the UK and Bangladesh which may be of interest.
  • 31st May 2023 16:00-19:30 BST: Road Freight Decarbonisation in Latin America - Join us as we delve into the current challenges and opportunities for decarbonising road freight globally, with a focus on the Latin American region. We will explore solutions and decarbonisation roadmaps in Latin American countries and the potential for UK stakeholders to collaborate and transfer knowledge, experiences and capacities to contribute to the decarbonisation of road freight in the region.
  • 4th July 2023 12:00-15:00 BST: Roundtable with Nick Dyer, Director General, Humanitarian and Development - Join us for an in-person roundtable with Nick Dyer, Director General, Humanitarian and Development. Nick will provide an overview of the UK’s International Development Strategy (IDS) and address the key priorities for the UK in delivering humanitarian aid.

For an overview of our planned events for the early part of the year, you can see a useful infographic here: BEI Winter/Spring Events Programme 2023

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 5th April 2023 9:00-16:30 BST: Completing the Elizabeth line: Sharing the learnings from Crossrail - Crossrail is holding a free, one-day conference to share the learnings from the completion of the project and the introduction of the Elizabeth line. The day will be divided into themed sessions with presentations and Q&A panels, ranging from project leadership and systems integration to bringing the railway into use – as well as how Crossrail’s legacy can be carried forward to improve current and future rail infrastructure projects.
  • 5th April 2023 15:00 SAST / 13:00 GMT / 09:00 EST - South Africa’s Water supply challenges and prospective solutions - While load shedding and transport logistics are probably top of mind with investors as key growth constraints, South Africa also has big water challenges that are weighing on many businesses and the country’s economic performance. Water supply issues could intensify further due to climate change, years of underinvestment in water infrastructure, and the impact of power cuts on water systems. For example, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber recently said that some of its members have had no municipal water supply for up to a week and that many manufacturers have struggled to maintain normal operations. Arguably, the network industry reforms overseen by Operation Vulindlela are least advanced in the water sector. We have put together a varied panel of speakers to provide some insights on this important and complex issue.

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