BEI Weekly Update — 6th January 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

A warm welcome back from what all of us at BEI hope was an enjoyable and relaxing break.

May I begin by offering our congratulations on the awards to our ambassador to Kyiv, Melinda Simons (DCMG-Damehood) and to Fergus Drake (OBE), CEO of members Crown Agents; in both cases for their contributions to the UK’s humanitarian and support work for Ukraine. I know Fergus would want this to be seen very much as acknowledging the efforts of his entire team (I’m sure Melinda would make the same point about her embassy team). I’d also be remiss if I did not mention the efforts of BFPG’s (our associated think tank) senior research fellow, Helen Ramscar, in her work ensuring a range of medical supplies, generating equipment and ambulances are procured and get through to their intended destinations. BEI is, by the way, on standby to hold an update on progress with Mott MacDonald and Crown Agents engagement with DIT as part of the U.K.-Ukraine Infrastructure Taskforce, with its focus on taking forward work on priority projects as identified by the Ukraine government in the wake of the conflict. This will be an opportunity to gauge opportunities for the UK infrastructure sector within a UK- led component alongside what will be a huge rebuild programme involving multiple nations and donors. The date will be available shortly. For those who missed it, I recommend BFPG’s recent report on the scale of UK aid to Ukraine and the questions it raises about the degree to which the revised Integrated Review should reassess the scale and diversity of UK-based delivery within “Global Britain”.

Looking forward, there is an excellent programme of events coming up in the first quarter. We will forward copies of an ‘at-a-glance’ schematic encapsulating the range of events shortly. More details can be found, as always, on BEI’s events page. The programme will see an increasing focus on direct contacts and opportunity-generation, including an increased focus on working with London embassies and overseas governments in key markets for members, as well as gaining market insights from multi-lateral funders and foundations. A good example of the former was the roundtable we held just before Christmas for the Foreign Minister & Deputy PM of Kazakhstan, his colleagues and the newly arrived ambassador, Mr. Ilyassov, with twenty or so BEI infrastructure and development members. It was a useful and timely reminder of the scope of potential for the U.K. in Kazakhstan, beyond natural resource extraction.

Another valued connection for BEI, alongside our increasing activity across the Indo-Pacific, is with Viet Nam. This relationship has been building for several years. This year sees Ambassador Long and his team run a number of celebrating activities for the 50th anniversary of UK/Viet Nam diplomatic relations and we will be actively participating on the business front, in particular around net zero engineering/industries and the all-important TVET /skills and training. We will also be collaborating culturally, with our gallery, D Contemporary staging an exhibition in March featuring contemporary art from Viet Nam.

Finally, I’d like to welcome a returning face to BEI. Ingrid Heggli has been working within The D Group team for 18 months, where she has made a material impact on the development and delivery of its services to members. She will join the senior team of Luisa Edves and Alexandra Barnes as Operations and Marketing Director.

Very Best Wishes  

Peter O’Kane
British Expertise International/Strategy International

Summary of Future Events

12th January 2023 10.00–11.30 GMT: Cameroon Market Opportunity Overview
Join us on 12th January as we welcome Dr Christian Dennys-McClure, the High Commissioner and his team. They will focus on insights into current opportunities in this market, including a special focus on the infrastructure sector — particularly roads, port development, energy capacity and renewables.

17th January 2023 09:30–11:00 GMT: FCDO Malawi: Development Priorities
Join us as we host Olympia Wereko-Brobby, the Development Director in Malawi for the FCDO who will present the Government’s development priorities and programming for the country.

17th January 2023 15.00–16.30 GMT: Peru Bilateral Trade Review — Infrastructure Workshop
British Expertise International, in partnership with OCO Global, is delighted to host an online workshop focusing on business opportunities in Peru for British exporters of services in the Infrastructure Sector. This event is now at capacity, but if you would like to be added to the waiting list please email

19th January 2023 16.00–19.30 GMT: Doing Business in the State of Victoria
Join us at British Expertise International’s offices on Thursday 19th January 2023 as we host an in-person event and reception with Tim Dillon, Agent General for Victoria to the United Kingdom and Commissioner for Victoria to Europe and Israel, for a session on doing business and sectoral opportunities in the state of Victoria, Australia. Please arrive from 16:00 for a 16:30 start. This will be followed by a networking reception from 18:00–19:30.

24th January 2023 9:30–11:30 GMT: Indonesia Education Deep Dive with DIT, FCDO & British Council
Join us for a deep dive into the education opportunities in Indonesia led by the Department for International Trade who will provide us with an insight into the key education priorities for UK plc looking to do business in Indonesia.

24th January 2023 15:00–16:30 GMT: Peru Bilateral Trade Review — Education & Skills Workshop
British Expertise International, in partnership with OCO Global, is delighted to host an online workshop focusing on business opportunities in Peru for British exporters of services in the Education and Skills Sectors

1st February 2023 10:00–11:30 GMT: Senegal Infrastructure Opportunities
Join us for a virtual deep-dive on infrastructure opportunities in Senegal. There are current opportunities for UK expertise on roads (toll roads, bridges), rail, and port development. There is a need for solar and wind renewable energy development for energy security and to increase grid stability at a national level.

7th February 2023 15:00–16:30 GMT: Climate TRACE — mobilising data to track GHG
Join us to learn about the work and mission of Climate TRACE. Their emissions inventory is the world’s first comprehensive accounting of GHG emissions based primarily on direct, independent observation.

Upcoming external events

20 & 21st February 2023 — Teacher Training Mission to Malaysia: The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) will lead a UK trade mission focusing on K-12 Teacher Training opportunities. The aim of the mission is to connect teacher training providers/specialists, government officials and education institutions leaders to learn about the latest thinking and innovations on the Teacher Training Education. For more information, please contact Husna Hamimi Hashim on

UN International Procurement Seminar (UN IPS) on 7–8 March 2023 at the UN City in Copenhagen and the registration process. UNGM registration is required to participate in the UN IPS and request 1–2–1 meetings with UN Procurement officers. If your company is already registered on the UNGM, it is possible to already express an interest in participating on the link below (this expression is not a formal offer/acceptance). UN International Procurement Seminar, Copenhagen, 7–8 March 2023 (

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