BEI Weekly Update — 9th December 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

As the days draw in and the Christmas season gets into gear there seems to be less and less time to write up reports, not to mention hazy memories brought on by a string of festivities. Luckily, though, there have been sufficiently outstanding developments and events this week to not have to dig too deep into the memory banks…

First off, there was the ad hoc reception at Grafton Street for visiting FCDO Development Directors, flown into London 48 hours before. Thanks to the efforts of Beverley Jandziol, the department’s new Commercial Director, Programmes, a gap was found in a busy schedule. A large number of BEI members involved in the ID sector were able to meet not only Directors from some of the UK’s main development regions but also a number of the Commercial team. Shared sentiments abounded about a tough budgetary period for the sector but so too did a clear sense of resilience and partnership. We all await update clarity on country/programme budgets and pipelines.

Connected to ID we should mention our sister organisation, the think tank, The British Foreign Policy Group. They published a report this week examining the UK’s humanitarian and aid effort in Ukraine, its impact on the British public and on the UK’s international standing and asked the question about whether this is to be seen as a one-off or, instead, a clear case for an upgrade of Development within the UK’s foreign policy. Link here. There is shortly to be another relevant report on assessing how UK soft power can best be docked into UK foreign policy. This is a joint effort with the British Council and an important contribution to the overall issue of where the UK could or should better utilise its soft power assets.

Staying with publications, Andrew Hilton, the Strategy Group’s ‘resident’ economist and a respected leading economic commentator in his own right, published his monthly blog. If you are not a regular listener, I recommend it. It’s a crisp tour each month around recent key economic/geo-political events, the challenges facing the world’s major economic blocks and a look forward to the coming month. Andrew’s opinions are his own. Here is the link.

Looking ahead, there are the following events left this year. We will provide you with some highlights for January in next week’s newsletter.

13th December: Pakistan Education Deep Dive
Virtual event 10:00–11:30 GMT. Join us for a deep dive into the education opportunities in Pakistan led by the Department for International Trade, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, and British Council where representatives from each respective organisation will provide us with an insight into the key education priorities for UK plc looking to do business in Pakistan.

21st December: Kazakhstan roundtable (invitation only)
Please contact Alexandra for information.

Finishing with (more) festivities, there is this coming Thursday’s annual BEI reception. We look forward to meeting as many members and our friends across UK and overseas government as can make it. Drinks and Canapés at 23 Grafton St. In light of the rail strike the next day we are moving the timing forward an hour to 5pm-7.30pm, so those concerned about potential advance slowdowns on the network can get away in time.

The BEI team very much looks forward to welcoming you next week.

Very Best Wishes  

Peter O’Kane
British Expertise International/Strategy International

Longer Term View of Events

17th January 2023 09:30–11:00 GMT: FCDO Malawi: Development Priorities with Development Director Olympia Wereko-brobby (save the date)

24th January 2023 09:00–10:30 GMT: Indonesia Education Deep Dive (save the date)

Summary of events held in the last two weeks

Which feature links to meetings slides / recordings

29th November: Roundtable with inbound Philippines delegation: ‘New Clark City Investment Roadshow and Study Visit’
In-person event 13:00 for 14:00–15:30 GMT. Slides available here.

29th November: Doing Business with the Caribbean Development Bank — Session Two: Education, Social, Trade and Governance
Virtual event 15:00–16:30 GMT. Recording is available here.

30th November: Africa’s Development Dynamics 2022
Virtual event 10:00–11:30 GMT. Recording and slides will be available here.

7th December: Colombia — Market Opportunity Overview
Virtual event 14:00–15:30 GMT. Recording and slides available here.

8th December: Gabon — Market Opportunity Overview
Virtual event 10:00–11:00 GMT. Recording and slides available here.

Upcoming external events

12–13th December: Annual Chile Day conference. Please use this link to register. Monday 12th December, Infrastructure Financing Panel from 11:45–13:00 GMT & Tuesday 13th December, Roundtable on Infrastructure with Minister Marcel from 10:00–11:00 GMT.

13 December 2022 from 9.00–10.30 GMT. Introduction to the United Nations Global Market Place (UNGM).
The United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM) is the official procurement portal of the United Nations System. The UNGM portal brings together UN procurement staff and suppliers interested in doing business with the United Nations.Further information and registration can be found here.

This event will be hosted in collaboration with UN staff, it will also include an introduction to the 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 (

15th December: Opportunities in Pakistan’s Maritime Sector. 11:30–13:00 BST. Please contact Max for more information.

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