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Dear Members & Friends,

During a week which started with the terrible events in Christchurch and then saw Cyclone Idai devastate large parts of Southern Africa, you will forgive us passing over Brexit, notwithstanding its progressed to a whole new level of political contortion.

We are conscious that Strategy International and some of our members have a presence in the affected countries, including New Zealand, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe. UK aid has been visible in its efforts to deliver humanitarian aid but there is a long way to go. Our thoughts go out to everyone involved. Link to Cyclone Idai Appeal here →

We have had something of a Central Asian focus over the last couple of weeks. Our mission to Kyrgyzstan last week has returned after a very successful trip. One company, which attended last year’s mission and secured business, attended this time too and managed to generate significant new orders. On Tuesday, we hosted a 20-strong delegation from Uzbekistan with over 40 guests for a comprehensive update on the economy and a view of some of the many business opportunities in the country. On Thursday evening, we celebrated Nauryz, a Central Asian holiday signifying not only the spring equinox but also the renewal of nature, symbolising fertility, friendship and love. The Reception also marked final day of our art exhibition featuring contemporary art from across the region which has been so well received by the many people visiting.

The next meeting of the Turkmenistan-UK Trade and Industry Council (TUKTIC) will take place in Ashgabat on 24-26 April 2019. British Expertise are running a pre-visit briefing meeting in London, where attendees will have the opportunity to put their questions about the upcoming TUKTIC directly to the Co-Chair of TUKTIC, Ronald Nash, as well as the British Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Thorda Abbott-Watt and Head of Trade at the British Embassy, Arslan Garryyev (via video link). We would encourage you to attend this event even if you have not yet registered for TUKTIC this year - there is still time to decide.

At BEI’s invitation, we hosted the Independent Commission for Aid (ICAI)’s new chief commissioner, Dr Tamsyn Barton as she consulted with senior level participants on developing the third phase of planning ICAI’s future work. A dynamic discussion ensued, providing an invaluable opportunity for insights and suggestions from members attending.

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On Wednesday evening Adrian Gregory, CEO of our member Atos, returned to The D Group for an update on the real-world applications of A.I. Adrian’s approach was very much focused on cutting through the current hype surrounding the sector and examining the ways that automation is already being used in our everyday lives, as well as some of the ethical questions that this raises. Whether automated vehicles, image recognition technology, online translation or indeed Netflix recommendations, A.I. is already changing the lives of consumers around the world and no doubt will soon be having the same widespread effect on the business community.

I wish you all a happy weekend, and hopefully a little sunshine.

With best wishes,

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Tracey Smith
CEO, British Expertise International


Event highlights:

Monday 25th March – British Expertise
Turkmenistan: Briefing with British Embassy ahead of TUKTIC
Ronald Nash, Co-Chair, TUKTIC
HE Thorda Abbott-Watt, British Ambassador to Turkmenistan
Arslan Garryyev, Head of International Trade, British Embassy in Ashgabat

Tuesday 26th March – The D Group Lunch
UK-Turkey Relations
H.E Ümit Yalçınn Turkish Ambassador, Embassy of Turkey, London

Wednesday 27th March – The D Group Lunch
Immigration is an economic necessity and we urgently need honest political leadership
James Kirkup, Director, The Social Market Foundation

Tuesday 2nd April – The D Group Dinner
Dinner with Sir John Armitt CBE
Sir John Armitt CBE, Chair, National Infrastructure Commission

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