Dear Members and Friends,
 
Delighted to see over 50 Personal and Executive Assistants attend today's annual Summer Reception. They are so often the key factor in making Strategy's events and private briefings work for their companies. The whole team here spent an hour updating them about Strategy, where it's heading and the range of offerings it has for its members, followed by canapés, drinks and networking. Many useful connections made.

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 Jonathan Hill's visit was warmly appreciated by some 30 attendees. He was our our last commissioner in Brussels and a pivotal figure earlier this year in working to get remainers and brexiteers of all hues to come together and focus on the hard yards ahead needed to achieve a successful Brexit. Massively impressive, balanced, informed and thoughtful and most present probably wished Jonathan could be high up on this week's list of ministerial appointees who will very shortly engage with Msr Barnier!

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Jonathan’s remit whilst in Brussels focused closely on the single market and financial services and I attach an article about the impact of the recent election on Brexit from New Financial. This is a capital markets focused organisation housed alongsdie us here in Grafton St and in which we are a stakeholder. New Financial’s capital markets focus is highly regarded and often quoted in the FT and mainstream media, as is its highly impressive and original research on diversity in the workplace.

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Talking of HMG's ministerial appointments, it’s pretty well all done and we will reflect on the final picture next week. There are some interesting shifts, much of which has been commented on in the mainstream media. For the membership, the degree to which the FCO and DFID seem to be coming together could be highly relevant and we look forward to better understanding DIT's new 'board of trade' structure to assist UK international trading success. 

His Excellency Mr Erlan Idrissov, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom, addressed a full house of members this week, presenting a broad set of potential opportunities for UK business to win contracts, and stressing that the Future Energy focus of World Expo 2017 in Astana is also a core strand of the President's long-term vision for the country. This includes an ambition to generate at least 50% of future energy needs from green sources by 2050 (currently 3%). His Excellency also spoke about the importance of Kazakhstan’s bilateral relationship with Britain, now and beyond Brexit. Kazakhstan's strategic location between China, India, Gulf and ultimately Europe is key, and developments around the One Belt, One Road initiative will only strengthen the importance of Central Asia to business. 
 
British Expertise International’s President, HRH the Duke of Gloucester is visiting Kazakhstan at the end of June to launch the British presence at Expo 2017, accompanied by our Director Phil Dowrick, who will be exploring the potential of the “Smart Astana" and "Almaty Tech-Garden" initiatives which align well with the objectives of our Smart Cities of the Future Working Group.

With best regards,

 

Peter O'Kane - Executive Chairman, Strategy International