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Dear Members & Friends,

A week full of fascinating events, growth in the membership and the launch of some new international content - Strategy International’s ‘Perspectives’ platform.

The Brexit soap opera continues, although perhaps Tuesday evening’s votes have, at last, pointed the way to a (slim) majority parliamentary position; that of the deal agreed with the EU, but sans/ohne backstop. We may be approaching the end game. One of a particularly absorbing but high stakes game of chicken.

EVENTS. This week/Next week.

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D Group delivered three absorbing events during the week.

The Japan/UK relationship is assuming increasing importance, despite Brexit. On the debit side there is a Japanese business community in the UK deeply concerned about the uncertainties posed by Brexit. The Japanese response to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, led by their supremely able ambassador and trade expert, HE Koji Tsuruoka and supported by a highly coordinated leadership group of Japanese businesses has been a case study in how business and government should work together. On the credit side is a closening security and cooperation relationship between the two countries with clear potentials for Trade. Ambassador Tsuruoka led a valuable discussion covering Trade, Defence and Aid.

On a security theme, ex Mi6 Chief, Sir Richard Dearlove, surveyed the challenges to World security in general and the UK in particular. China and Russia loomed large, as did trenchant concerns about certain forms of EU exit for the UK. A high-level discussion of these can be found in the Perspective’s podcast. Listen to the podcast →

GE’s Rob Evans took us away from geo-politics and the ‘B’ word and into the very real challenges to business of the Internet of Things. Rob reviewed how just about every sector is becoming transformed by the digital revolution, and Asset Performance Management (APM) systems are becoming ever more widely used. As suppliers increasingly transition to the “power by the hour” model, efficient asset life tracking is becoming essential and the introduction of fully autonomous ‘dark factories’ may be on the horizon.

Next week we welcome, in sequence, the Northern Powerhouse minister, the Beijing based UK Trade Commissioner to China, our ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and welcome back the Secretary of State for BEIS. The latter, Greg Clark, speaks to a title agreed months ago but now positively heaving with expectation-“What next for British business?”.

NEW MEMBERS.

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These are tough times for companies to commit to adding to variable costs and so the arrival of new members is even more noteworthy an event than usual. D Group was delighted to welcome the major energy company SSE and British Expertise welcomed the great name of Pearson plc and ABT, who work to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide.

NEW CONTENT.

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Strategy has an active international footprint. In addition to a wide range of British Expertise and D Group briefings on international themes and markets we engage with and support the efforts of HMG’s FCO, DiT and Dfid departments and we have our own representatives around the world. Not to mention two other overseas D Groups. We interact frequently with missions here in London from multiple nations. We have now launched a pilot edition of ‘Perspectives’, a platform which hopefully adds to our networks’ insights into a range of topical matters. You can access it here →

Regards,

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Peter O'Kane - Executive Chairman, Strategy International


Event highlights:

Tuesday 5th February – D Group / BEI Lunch
China – the view on the key opportunities and challenges for British business in 2019
Richard Burn, HM Trade Commissioner for China, Department for International Trade

Tuesday 5th February – CATBIG Meeting
Meet the British Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic
H.E. Mr Robin Ord-Smith MVO, British Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic

Tuesday 12th February – D Group Lunch
Electric Vehicles – Current developments and future initiatives
Jonathan Brearley, Executive Director, Ofgem



Wednesday 17th April 2019 – BEI Awards
British Expertise International Awards 2019