BEI Weekly Update - 3rd November 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

Once again, this week’s programme has reflected the wide range of issues British Expertise covers, as well as the depth in which we dive into the most pressing challenges and the biggest opportunities in our sectors.   But before I say a little more about the events, I want to apologise if you have been experiencing any difficulties in registering for them or otherwise engaging with our website.   Our current software doesn’t do all the things we would like to make the experience as easy as possible for our members.   In addition, there have been some extra problems recently that may take a while to resolve completely.   In the meantime, I hope you will bear with us: if you need to, you can register for our new events in November manually at I will provide an update as soon as we have made progress.

New November events:

  • Thursday, 9th November from 9.00 to 10.30 - Roundtable with Bob Saum, World Bank’s Chief Financial Management Officer (in person)
  • Thursday, 16th November 2023 from 10:00-11:30 - British International Investment - Climate Change Strategy Review (online)
  • Thursday, 23rd November from 9.00 - 10.00 - ASEAN-UK Supporting the Advancement of Girls’ Education Programme, run by British Council (online)
  • Wednesday, 29th November from 9.00 - 12.00 - UN Roadshow, led by the Department for Business and Trade (in person)

Back to this week: on Tuesday, we hosted the next in our ‘Intersections with Climate Change’ series, focusing on the intersection with Conflict Prevention. Our speakers from DT Global, Integrity and Spearfish provided examples from their work in South Sudan, Somalia and Northern Nigeria and discussed how climate shocks and resource scarcity can cause displacement and in turn can lead to outbreaks of violence. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion where speakers and attendees shared a wealth of resources on this key intersection in international development approaches. Please find some additional reading here.

On Wednesday, our Education Working Group held a joint session on the contribution of the education sector to the UK’s soft power proposition. Please see this week’s blog by Amalie along with Eliza Keogh of BFPG. BFPG (along with the British Council) is co-convenor of the UK Soft Power Group, which engages with the UK Government, nations and regions, political parties and other stakeholders to represent the interests of UK soft power in all its diversity. If you would be interested in learning more, please contact Eliza

Yesterday, we held an online session with DBT on resolving trade barriers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It’s been good to see how in recent years, the Government has been working hard to help countries address the structural challenges which risk impeding trade and investment growth. This was a valuable session to help our members to understand how they can inform and engage with this often very detailed government-to-government work.

Next week will be every bit as substantial and diverse. On Monday, we will have a deep dive into opportunities in Azerbaijan, which follows well from this week’s session on the wider region.   We’re delighted to have Edward Evans, Deputy Head of Mission, as a keynote speaker.

On Wednesday 8 November we will launch the much-awaited Climate Finance Report. The paper outlines the role of finance in supporting mitigation and adaptation efforts and will help us focus more on this crucial issue in the coming period as we look to engage more with the world of finance.  We will share the link to the report as soon as it is released. 

Next Wednesday, we also will host the next in our series of “Meet the FCDO Development Director” online events with Anna Wilson, Development Director in Rwanda talking about FCDO priorities and programmes. 

To all those who have led, or participated in, this week’s events, a warm thank you for your time and contributions: I’ve come to realise that our success is very much founded on your enthusiastic engagement, to which we are keen to respond as much as we can. I wish you a restful weekend before we meet again.

Best Wishes

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 6th November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Azerbaijan - Market Opportunity Overview - Azerbaijan has made significant political and regulatory reforms which have increased the attractiveness and competitiveness of the country. With the biggest airport, seaport and railway network in the region, Azerbaijan is a logistics hub for the Caspian region and a crucial element in the Middle Corridor. This webinar will cover specific project opportunities in infrastructure, green energy, security, agriculture, healthcare, IT and education.
  • 8th November 2023 09:00-10:30 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Rwanda - Join us as we host Anna Wilson, the Development Director in Rwanda for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Rwanda.
  • 8th November 2023 15:00 for 15:30-17:00 GMT: Climate Finance Report Launch - This paper frames challenges in mobilising climate finance in terms of system-level barriers – relating to the quantity and quality of climate finance, as well as systems and distribution channels used to deliver climate finance – and country-level barriers – relating to the policy, institutional, capacity, transparency and accountability structures in recipient countries as well as the maturity of a pipeline of investments.
  • 9th November from 9.00 to 10.30 GMT Roundtable with Bob Saum, World Bank’s Chief Financial Management Officer (in person) - email to register
  • 14th November 09:00-10:00 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Bangladesh (new date). Email to register (if you were registered to attend on the original date, your registration is transferred and you will be sent the new joining link).
  • 14th November 2023 16:00-17:30 GMT: UK International Development Strategy Round Table with Melinda Bohannon - Join us for an in-person round table on the UK’s International Development Strategy, with an address from Guest of Honour, Melinda Bohannon, interim Director General, Humanitarian and Development at the FCDO. Melinda will speak on the UK’s International Development Strategy and address key priorities for the UK in delivering Humanitarian Aid in the context of the broader humanitarian agenda for the FCDO. Email to register
  • 15th November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Syria - Join us as we host Peter McDermot, the Development Director in Syria for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Syria.
  • 16th November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: British International Investment - Climate Change Strategy Review - British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution, will showcase their Climate Change Strategy. Attendees will learn how BII’s current and future activities and portfolios are aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement, based on the building blocks of Net Zero, Just Transition and climate adaptation and resilience - email to register
  • 22nd November 2023 10:00-11:30 GMT: Challenges and Solutions for Profit Repatriation in African Markets - For multinational organisations operating in Africa, the repatriation of profits can be a challenge in some markets due to currency volatility, foreign exchange controls, economic instability, and regulatory restrictions. Join us as our panel explores some of these complex challenges, and hear from some of the organisations who can help companies navigate them.
  • 23rd November 9.00 - 10.00 GMT: ASEAN-UK Supporting the Advancement of Girls’ Education Programme, run by British Council (online) - email to register
  • 29th November 9.00 - 12.00 GMT: UN Roadshow, led by the Department for Business and Trade (in person) - email to register

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 15th November 2023: FCDO Common Approach on PSEAH - Please join us for a presentation on 15th November, 10:00-11:00 from FCDO Safeguarding Unit on the Common Approach on Protection from Sexual Exploitation, Abuse & Harassment (PSEAH). Guest speakers: Karen Williams, FCDO Engagement Lead and Jennifer Smith, FCDO Multilateral and Strategy Lead. For details contact: 
  • 18th-19th November 2023: Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference, London - Network with a group of seasoned international executives, businesspeople, academia and government officials from Guyana and learn about business opportunities in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in sectors such as energy, technology, healthcare, education, and manufacturing.
  • 21st November 2023 - The Caspian Policy Centre is hosting an Energy Security Conference 9:30-12:30 at Arundel House, Arundel Street, London WC2R3DX. Regional Ambassadors will provide overviews. Business representatives, energy experts and international organisations will discuss energy security, Middle Corridor infrastructure investment, renewables and sustainable transitions. For details contact: 

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