BEI Weekly Update — 7th October 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

Another busy week this week, and the diary of events through Autumn is looking very busy; please keep an eye out for some additional events that have only recently been confirmed. The focus of this week’s newsletter is an update on our observations around the International Development arena.

Over the recent weeks, we have hosted a series of events where the topic of International Development has been reviewed and discussed. We have met, in person and virtually, with a series FCDO Country Development Directors; we have reviewed the Aid Transparency Index’s latest report and hosted Sir Suma Chakrabarti at 23 Grafton Street for a fascinating discussion. We have drawn together a number of core points that have emerged during these discussions.

  1. There will most likely be continuity in the UK’s Strategy for international Development. Given the close involvement of the current Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary in its creation, it is not felt that there will be significant changes of direction as the new team takes on their portfolios.
  2. Ministerial presence in Cabinet is a positive development. The appointment of Vicky Ford as Minister for Development is welcome, and will provide an increased opportunity to champion development related issues within government.
  3. Little change on budget and pipeline. Despite these positive indications, there is little change in clarity of either budget or pipeline at a country level. The impact of the on-going uncertainty is also felt to be having a damaging effect on the wider reputation of the UK.
  4. A growing role for partnerships. The combination of the current geo-political and economic pressures is increasing the need for stronger links and collaboration between donors around issues they are keen to address.
  5. A stronger voice for recipients. In determining the direction of spend on aid and the benefit it realises, there has been a consistent theme around ensuring recipient countries are more directly engaged in shaping the implementation and evaluating the impact of actions taken.
  6. Climate Change could be a game-changer. The impact is already being felt profoundly on a Global basis and it demands a global response. However, whilst there is budget available, it is proving difficult to translate into real projects. It could provide a platform to drive a new model of financial clarity, partnership models and ensuring the voice of recipients is heard clearly.

Following our successful reports on the subjects of Education and International Development, we are now developing a discrete additional ‘chapter’ to focus on the key issues of programming aimed at Women and Girls. We will be aiming to publish this update before Christmas this year, and any members who are keen to participate in this report would be welcome. Please contact Lara for more details.

As we now have a mix of In-Person and Virtual Events, we will communicate the event type in this newsletter and other digital communications and hope this ensures that you are able to register for the event knowing the logistics/event type. Here is a summary of events coming up in the next two weeks. They cover Education, Development, Climate and more market specific events which explore opportunities in physical and social infrastructure.

11th October: FCDO Indonesia: Development Priorities
Virtual Event 09:00–10:30 BST. We will be joined by Amanda McLoughlin, the Development Director in Indonesia for the FCDO who will present the Government’s development priorities and programming for Indonesia.

12th October: Opportunities for Climate Resilience and Energy Transition in Uzbekistan
Virtual Event 10:00–11:30 BST. His Excellency Said Rustamov, the Uzbekistan Ambassador to the UK and representatives of EBRD, ADB and Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy will join us virtually to address this critical issue and the opportunities it presents for UK based businesses.

NEW: 13th October: Malaysia : Market Opportunity Overview
In-person roundtable at 23 Grafton Street. 8:30–10:30 BST. Meet His Excellency Charles Hay MVO and his team and discuss opportunities in Malaysia for UK businesses. They will highlight specific opportunities in Infrastructure and Climate, Education, Healthcare and Digital Services in what is the UK’s second largest export market in the ASEAN region after Singapore.

13th October: Private View at our in-house gallery, D Contemporary
Lost Sleep, a solo show by Lee Maelzer (drop in to view the exhibition between 11th Oct — 5th Nov).
The Private View is on 13th October will be part of the West End Gallery Hop organised by Mayfair Art Weekend team and London Business Alliance. Other galleries taking part, including the worldwide leading gallery Hauser and Wirth, Soho Revue and many more.

17th October: Doing Business with the EBRD
In-person roundtable event at 23 Grafton Street. 14:00–16:30 BST. We will hear about the European Bank For Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)’s Strategy, guidance on its Procurement Processes and how to navigate them.

NEW: 18th October: Andreas Schleicher, Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills at the OECD
Virtual event 10:00–11:30 BST. During this session Andreas will provide policy advice and analysis drawn from OECD’s Future of Education and Skills 2030 project.

NEW: 18th October: Mexico Education Deep Dive with DIT
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 BST. Julio Evaristo, Head of Education, Healthcare and Life Sciences, and Cassandra Vargas, Trade Officer for Education, Health and Life Sciences will provide us with an insight into the key education priorities and an overview of their pipeline.

NEW: 20th October: Thailand Education Deep Dive with DIT
Virtual event 09:00–10:30 BST. Join us for a deep dive into the education opportunities in Thailand led by the Department for International Trade. The quality of education Thailand still remains a weak point for the country’s human development.

SAVE THE DATE: 20th October: Round Table with John Humphrey, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa. Join us for an overview of the African economy and opportunities being championed by the DIT team

NEW: 20th October: OMFIF/ABSA Africa Financial markets Index Report
In-person briefing event at 23 Grafton Street. 16:30–19:00 BST.
Presentation of findings of OMFIF/ABSA Africa Financial markets Index report.

Very Best Wishes  

Peter O’Kane
British Expertise International/Strategy International

Longer Term View of Events

NEW: 26th October: Climate Finance: The Development Finance Institutions’ Perspective
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 BST. This session will outline and discuss the definitions, focus, plans and priorities of climate finance from the point of view of three DFIs: EBRD, BII and IFC.

26th October: BEI Education and Skills workshop and networking evening
In-person workshop and reception at 23 Grafton Street. 16:30 for 17.00–18.30 BST.
This event will mark the first activity of the newly launched Skills & Training Working Group and aims to bring together Skills and Training providers from across a range of sectors such as education, climate, construction and defence. Our first event’s format will consist of a brainstorming exercise on the current Skills and Training context from a supply and demand perspective, followed by a discussion on current barriers and funding available.

NEW: 31st October: Middle East Regional Market Overview
In-person briefing at 23 Grafton Street. 13:00 for 13:30–17:00, panel and reception.
Covering Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon and Jordan.

NEW: 2nd November: Rwanda Education Deep Dive Virtual event 12:00–13:30 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.

NEW: 3rd November: LATAC Trade Opportunities with HMTC LATAC
In-person briefing at 23 Grafton Street. 16:30 for 17:00–19:30, panel and reception.
With Jonathan Knott — Regional Trade Commissioner for LATAC.

SAVE THE DATE: 16th November: in-person roundtable with Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Panama, Dominican Republic & Costa Rica — Rt. Hon Baroness Hooper CMG

17th November: BEI Education Working Group with Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP
We are delighted to host our quarterly in-person Education WG session which will have Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP as a speaker to discuss the International Development Strategy and his perspective on what would make an effective implementation of the strategy.

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.

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 and recordings

28th September: The Aga Khan Foundation presentation and discussion with the Aga Khan Foundation and hear about their broad range of work. Slides available here.

28th September: The Aid Transparency Index 2022 Review the findings from the most recent Aid Transparency Report and discussion around future models that might be used to evaluate the impact of Aid related projects. Recording and slides available here.

6th October: Iran: Market Opportunity Overview with the Department for International Trade at the British Embassy, Tehran, and the British Iranian Chamber of Commerce. Recording and slides available here.

6th October: The Energy Transition: A Conversation with Carbon Tracker. Recording and slides available here.

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