Dear Members and Friends,
The US/UK relationship, always important, has assumed a pretty pivotal position in the post Referendum landscape. It was a real boon this morning for the D Group to be able to welcome Sir Kim Darroch, the UK's man in Washington, and discuss his take on the US posture on a range of relevant issues; trade with the UK, cooperation on security, and of course The Donald's impact both on the domestic and the global stage. It's often said by Americans that the British Embassy in DC is one of the best-informed buildings in the capital. Good to see that continues.
The session with Sir Kim was swiftly followed by a briefing to members by Sir Dominic Asquith, our High Commissioner to India, another important trading focus for the UK and an increasingly powerful player on the world stage. We discussed current and post-Brexit trade opportunities, India's relationship with its Asian neighbours and its likely trajectory.
Opportunity in international trade was the focus of the first meeting, held at number 10 on Wednesday, of the board of Infrastructure Exports: UK, attended by Liam Fox and Greg Hands, BEI's CEO Tracey Smith and a range of sector leaders. IE:UK is DIT's initiative to forge a closer working partnership with the UK's world-leading infrastructure services sector in finding and securing major projects worldwide. British Expertise International sits at the centre of this and has been asked to occupy a key liaison role between IE:UK, whose board contains many of our members, and relevant UK supply chains. The first projects for consideration were reviewed and discussed. Find out more about IE:UK.
Other notable events during the week?
- A tour de force from Mike Tynan, CEO of Nuclear AMRC, on the current situation in UK nuclear sector and the future outlook; particularly around whether the UK should aim to develop a domestic industry based on build or on servicing. A highly informed reminder from one of our outstanding nuclear sector specialists that, behind all the noise around Brexit, a number of critical policy decisions remain to be made about long term strategy.
- D Contemporary launched its highly successful art exhibition for Pride week. Over 200 attended and it was exceptionally well supported by many Strategy members, reflecting an increasingly clear commitment to diversity in the workplace.
- On 13th July Christopher Allan, British Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan, delivered a comprehensive overview of the current political and economic situation in Uzbekistan. Discussions included the strengths and weaknesses of the various sectors of Uzbekistan’s economy and how organisations could best approach doing business in the country. Representatives from the Uzbek-British Trade & Industry Council (UBTIC) were also present, and introduced some of the various commercial opportunities for UK firms in the coming months and years. We are currently organising the upcoming UBTIC conference in London, all the details will be released in due course but for now the date for your diaries is 29th November 2017.
Next week we look forward to zeroing in on the Defence sector with a talk from the highly rated new MoD Permanent Secretary, Stephen Lovegrove, and continuing the theme of examining the UK's opportunities with major regional economies when we hear from Menna Rawlings, the UK's High Commissioner in Australia.
We would also like to highlight a new page on the Strategy International website. It features a collection of case studies, showcasing some of the successes that we have driven for our members in the last twelve months.
Peter O'Kane - Executive Chairman, Strategy International
Event highlights – July:
Monday 17th July – BEI Meeting
Australia - Meet the British High Commissioner
Menna Rawlings, British High Commissioner to Australia
Tuesday 18th July – The D Group Lunch
The role of the Ministry of Defence in delivering HMG’s Prosperity engagement
Stephen Lovegrove CB, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defence
Thursday 27th July – The D Group Lunch
Tension in the Middle East and the implications for the UK
Jane Corbin, Broadcaster, Author and Investigative Journalist