Dear Members and Friends,
Clearly it has been a dramatic week in Westminster. Whatever our personal feelings might be, I am sure we all wish for a period of stability as the UK tries to respond appropriately to the scale of challenges it faces, both domestically and on the international stage. For our own part, we have had a very busy week — although perhaps not quite as dramatic as the political activities we have observed.
Earlier this week, we hosted H.E. James Sharp, British Ambassador to Azerbaijan, DIT Director Joel Derbyshire, alongside representatives from the Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce and BP, for a market opportunities overview for UK business. The message was that now is the time to be exploring Azerbaijan, with a wide range of opportunities in sectors including energy, education and healthcare, as well as notable infrastructure opportunities in the liberated territories. You can read more about the event in this Caspian Post article.
We also hosted a fascinating in-person forum discussing UK organisations’ capability and expertise in responding to global emergencies and crises including in conflict and humanitarian situations. UK actors including BEI members highlighted their strong track record in responding to global emergencies and crises but key to a successful response was the need for more cohesive approach and leveraging organisations’ diverse capabilities in a more coordinated way. We would be keen to hear from other organisations working in this space and perhaps explore the value of articulating clearly articulating the UK capability and offer.
We hosted a great discussion with representatives from the Department of International Trade (DIT) in Ghana for a Ghana Deep Dive, focusing on the country’s climate change priorities. The DIT team shared the current economic outlook for Ghana, alongside details of opportunities in climate resilience and adaptation. As a country which derives 17% of its GDP from agriculture, with 29% of the workforce employed in this sector, there is a great need for development in areas such as solar powered storage systems, resilient fisheries, farming alternative proteins, and the provision of draught resilient, high-quality seeds. There is a huge demand from a growing middle class, with expertise needed in designing smart infrastructure, housing, commercial real estate and urban spaces, as well as improving energy systems resilience.
Finally, this week, we held an in-person event with Stefan Dercon and a panel including Gwen Hines CEO of Save the Children, Onyekachi Wambu, Executive Director at AFFORD and Fergus Drake CEO at Crown Agents discussing some of the highlights from Stefan’s book, Gambling on Development. Stefan was most recently Development Policy Advisor to successive Foreign Secretaries at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) between 2020 and 2022. The discussion focused on the rather complex dilemma on why, with development support, some countries succeed and others fail.
Next week, we look forward to two further events:
On 13th July we will host a presentation on the highlights of the latest World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report published in June 2022. World Bank Senior Economist, Patrick Kirby will take us through key insights from a report that suggests global growth is expected to slump significantly. The report also points to a likely prolonged period of weak growth and elevated inflation, raising the risk of stagflation, with potentially harmful consequences for middle- and low-income economies alike. This event is open to members and non-members. You can register for this and other events HERE.
On 14th July, our members are invited to join us for a Lunch with Kyrgystan Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Ulan Djusupov. This event will provide an opportunity to meet the new Kyrgyzstan Ambassador to the UK and get a brief on the political and economic situation and more importantly an overview and insights on areas of opportunity for UK companies looking to do business in Kyrgyzstan.
Other events beyond next week include:
NEW EVENT: on 20th July, we are delighted to host an event on UK Public Opinion on International Development in conversation with Sophia Gaston Director of the British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG). This follows the recent publication of the Annual Survey of UK Public Opinion on Foreign Policy — the leading study of British attitudes on international affairs. Sophia will share her insights on UK public opinion on international development as well as a few thoughts on the UK government’s International Development Strategy.
The 2022 report finds the nation in a state of transition, with Brexit and the pandemic receding, but the war in Ukraine, tensions in alliances, and the cost-of-living crisis, forging a new period of uncertainty for Britons.
NEW EVENT: also on Wednesday 20th July, the BEI Education Working Group will be hosting an in person round table with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Education, Emin Amrullayev. The Minister will share details on the Ministry of Education’s strategy, and share insights on ways of working with British organisations and institutions, and Azerbaijan’s needs in the education and skills space.
On Thursday 21st July, don’t miss out as we host a session providing insights into Working with The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Presenters will share details of MCC’s strategy and provide information on navigating the procurement processes. The MCC works in many sectors of interest for our members and other UK organisations including in: roads and transport infrastructure, education, energy, health, water sanitation & irrigation and agriculture. This event is open to our members and networks.
NEW EVENT: On 27 July, join us for a presentation on the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) rapid review on ‘Tackling fraud in UK Aid through multilateral organisation’, which complements a previous review on tackling fraud in UK aid in which the UK government committed to ensuring a ‘truly transparent, efficient system’ linking multilateral funding to performance.
Our sister organisation — The Future Leaders Group (FLG) will be hosting a networking event and inviting those interested in learning more about the programme on Tuesday 12th July (6.30–8.30pm). This will be a great chance to meet and talk to members of the FLG faculty. The course is aimed at high potential managers who want to prepare for taking up senior positions in their organisation. To register interest in attending, please contact Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, it looks as if we are in for some prolonged good weather, so I hope you will be able to enjoy this with your families and loved ones but avoid the annual outbreak of flying ants.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
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13th July — Global Economic Prospects Report
19th July — The Global Sports Economy: Insights and Opportunities (infrastructure)
20th July — UK Public Opinion on Development & IDS Insights
External News & Events
12 July 2022 — Future Leaders Group will be hosting a networking event and inviting those interested in learning more about the programme on Tuesday 12th July (6.30–8.30pm). This will be a great chance to meet and talk to members of the FLG faculty. The FLG course is aimed at high potential managers who want to prepare for taking up senior positions in their organisation. To register interest to attend, please contact Nick at email@example.com
28th — 29th September — Field Electronics and Sensors Training: the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) one-day BEGINNER course will give participants an introduction to electronics as applied to environmental sensors in the field. The one-day ADVANCED course will build on the Beginners course and Learners will gain advanced knowledge on data logging systems, sensors, communication protocols and remote data downloading. Find more details HERE.
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