BEI Weekly Update — 4th November 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

Business development is not a numbers game. It needs focused matching of skills and products to specific opportunities. Having said that, it was quite something to see some 150 UK exporters come through the building this week for three events, joining us to meet senior Ministers from Malaysia and to enjoy impressive demonstrations of DIT’s in-region capabilities across the Middle East and Latin America & The Caribbean. All three articulated the need to move along from the undoubted general opportunities in their markets to how to engage with, finance and mobilise them. This subject was also the focus of an exceptionally useful and pragmatic webinar on financing development opportunities. Details from all these events can be reviewed via the link below.

Last week we flagged an update on plans afoot between HMG and the private sector to address reconstruction opportunities in Ukraine. This will appear in due course but, whilst awaiting more specifics, members are invited to remind themselves of the task ahead by attending the Private View next Thursday, November 10th from 6.30–8.30, of an exhibition of photographs from the front line and the devastated land and townscapes of Ukraine. The photographer is ex SAS soldier Adam Dobby. We look forward to welcoming senior representatives from the Ukraine Embassy and FCDO Minister of State Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Please RSVP to Irene Pouliassi.

Meanwhile, ahead of COP27, we were pleased to run a Climate Change Networking evening. During the discussion, the key issues and challenges faced by those tackling climate change remediation were debated by an audience of members and friends, led by our keynote speaker, Jane Wilkinson. Although the task of combating climate change is immense and multifaceted, there was a collective view that through partnership and working together, there is a path to solve these challenges. We have just updated and re-published our publications on the Built Environment, Nature Based Solutions and Extreme Weather Resilience. They combine commentary relevant to the sector challenges that those at Sharm-el-Sheik will need to address convincingly, together with practical examples of the initiatives being taken by BEI members globally.

This past week’s slew of events mean we pause for a breather next week before resuming the week of the 14th.

16th November: Trade Envoy to Panama, Dominican Republic & Costa Rica — Rt. Hon Baroness Hooper CMG.
In person round table at 23 Grafton Street. 14:30 for 15:00–16:30 GMT.
We are delighted to welcome back the Rt. Hon Baroness Hooper CMG for this members-only private round-table event, in-person at our offices in 23 Grafton Street, to give members the opportunity top engage with the Trade Envoy in a closed discussion. Panama is one of the most politically and economically stable economies in the region and with plenty of opportunities in Skills Development, Infrastructure, the Maritime industry and Clean Energy it should be a priority for UK businesses.
Contact to reserve a place.

POSTPONED 17th November: BEI Education Working Group
Unfortunately, we have had to postpone the in-person Education Working Group roundtable session with Rt Hon Damian Hinds. Damian has returned to government as a Minister at the Ministry of Justice. With his changing brief, he is now unable to participate. We will be looking to host our first in-person Education WG session in January 2023, and will communicate further information in due course.

I would also like to draw your attention to some events the following week, which include:

22nd November: Doing Business with CABEI
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT.
Join the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) for their first UK market engagement event, following the recent opening of their European office. CABEI’s mission is to promote economic integration and balanced economic and social development of the Central American region (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama and Belize), in sectors including water sanitation, water treatment, urban mobility, health infrastructure, energy and transportation.

24th November: Doing Business with the Caribbean Development Bank — Session one: Infrastructure, Energy and Environment
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT. The first session in this year’s ‘Doing Business with the CDB’ seminar will cover opportunities in Infrastructure, Energy and Environment. This event series provides insights on CDB’s key sector plans, a forward look on their business pipelines and opportunities, and an update on CDB’s strategic direction.

Very Best Wishes  

Peter O’Kane
British Expertise International/Strategy International

Longer Term View of Events

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.

Summary of events held in the last two weeks

Which feature links to meetings slides / recordings

25th October: Extreme Weather and Climate Resilience Roundtable with the CDB
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 BST. We heard from representatives of the Caribbean Development Bank who provided insights into their support needs for extreme weather prediction, mitigation and post event recovery. We were also joined by members of the BEI Climate Change Working Group as we explored synergies and shared knowledge around the leading market solutions and infrastructure developments in these sectors globally. Recording and slides available here.

26th October: Climate Finance — the Development Finance Institutions’ Perspective
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 BST. This session outlined the definitions, focus, plans and priorities of climate finance from the point of view of three Development Finance Institutions (DFIs): EBRD, BII and IFC, who provided their perspective on climate finance. Recording and slides available here.

2nd November: Rwanda Education Deep Dive
Virtual event 11:00–12:30 GMT. Join us for a deep dive into the education opportunities in Rwanda led by the Department for International Trade. Anna Wilson, the Development Director at British High Commission in Kigali, will provide us with an insight into the key education priorities for UK plc looking to do business in Rwanda. Recording available here.

3rd November: Financing Development — Insights, Challenges & Risks
Virtual Event 10:00–11:30 GMT. Join us for an online session where our key speakers explore the subject of financing development, providing us with their key insights around this topic as well as the challenges and risks of development finance today. We will be joined by representatives from British International Investment, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Crown Agents Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. Recording available here.

Upcoming external events

13th — 14th November: B20 Indonesia 2022.
The official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community.

16th — 18th November: APEC CEO Summit Thailand
APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) is an important forum for advancing the prosperity of people and societies in the region.

24th November: Managing FX and cross-border payments risk in international development, 17:15–21:00 at St Boltophs’s Church Hall, City Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TL. This event will be an evening of conversation and networking, focused on the safe and timely delivery of FX and cross-border payments into hard-to-reach markets with lived case studies. Discussion will cover a range of topics including bank account management, access to cash, investments, safety and controls, financial risks, and technology.

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.

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