BEI Weekly Update — 6th November 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

In recent days we have hosted highly informative presentations on opportunities in the Philippines, Columbia & Australia, all with detailed slides with pipelines and sector strengths as well other useful information. These and other materials are all now available for members to access via our website. If you have not yet signed up to our website, it is straightforward to do so here.

This week the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provided an update to the combined supplier base on the recent merger progress, key activities and the department’s general strategic direction. Event chair, Juliet Chua (Director General for Finance & Corporate) was joined by Baroness Sugg, Vijay Rangarajan (DG Americas and Overseas Territories), Rachel Turner (Director Economic Development) Nic Hailey (DG Transformation) as well as Commercial Director Tracey Williamson and Deputy Director Michelle O’Loughlin. Updates were shared on the merger, the Integrated and Spending Reviews, policy areas updates, a high-level steer on the future direction and ambition of the commercial function under the FCDO. The difficulties that the supplier base has been enduring due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, and the resulting impact on UK’s development spend, were widely acknowledged. Expectations are that early in the new year, there will be greater insights on available resources for future opportunities pipeline and development spend. It was good to hear that as the transformation takes place, the FCDO team welcomes engagement and consultation with the supplier base.

Yesterday BEI hosted the inaugural meeting of the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) working group, with the aim of providing members a space for open discussion, opportunities to share information, best practice, learnings and experiences from each other as well as to promote, champion and encourage diversity and inclusion in our workplace and programmes. Please get in touch if you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague to join the D&I working group.

Next week sees the first board meeting of Infrastructure Exports: UK under its new Co-Chair Mark Holmes of Mace. BEI sits on the board of IE:UK — a joint DIT-industry initiative to drive greater UK content in global infrastructure projects — alongside a number of larger BEI members. Together we are supporting renewed focus and direction for the group in preparation for a fresh UK-wide push on global exports in 2021. Our own BEI Infrastructure Exports working group met this week to feed into the process and we encourage all members active in this sector to consider joining this increasingly active working group.

Next week…

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. We’ll be joined by the Law Society’s Donna Evans, FCDO’s Justinian Habner, Tien Gui Koh of BCLP Law, and Yvonne Foo from Harry Elias.

As one of the strongest economies in Africa, Nigeria is a key market for British businesses working in the region. Join us and Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewelyn-Jones and colleagues from the UK team on 11th November for an expert analysis of the opportunities for UK companies in Nigeria, focused on sectors of interest, some of the challenges as well as economic and political updates. The team will also briefly share the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Nigeria.

The coronavirus pandemic is not just a health issue, it is having a profound impact economies and societies, including vulnerable communities, including girls, women and the elderly. Join us on 12th November for a Social Development discussion focusing on some of the key areas and activities taking place. We will explore gender inequality and social exclusion: longer-term issues, implications from the pandemic and some of the lessons learnt. Our speakers include Akuja de Garang, Tara Chetty and Laura Martineau Searle, who will share their experiences from their programmes of social development in action during this Covid-19 crisis, lessons being learnt and what recovery may look like.

Future Events Highlights…

On 18th November, join us for what will be a fascinating event exploring Green Financing in the post-Covid Era. How can finance make the most of the Covid-19 recovery, whilst maintaining the goal of sustainability, and where are the emerging areas borne from the green agenda?

On 9th December, we’re hosting the Independent Commission for Aid Impact for an event on their latest review on UK Aid & Tackling Modern Slavery. Join us and ICAI to discuss the findings of the review, the role of the aid sector, and what’s next.

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

Tom Cargill
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International

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