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Dear Members and Friends, 

As we go to press we have another date for the diary. Mrs May will step down as Prime Minister on 7 June. I guess the bigger question is who will be stepping up and into those leopard print courts?  Regular readers will know I tend to side step political comment when writing the Strategy International weekly missive but this week it’s impossible.  The Prime Minister has shown resilience, determination and a deep sense of duty but alas “winter is coming” as a new game of thrones begins.

Back in Grafton Street my colleagues have summed up the three main meetings held as follows:

21 May - DFID Work on Governance, Open Societies and Anti-Corruption
BEI hosted Charlotte Hull, DFID Head of Governance, Open Societies and Anti-Corruption Department as she shared an update on DFID’s work in this broad area. She highlighted DFID’s new Governance Position Paper which sets DFID’s approach to governance in a changing world. DFID Private Sector Advisor, Julia Kraetke went on to present on the DFID led cross government Business Integrity Initiative, an online hub that signposts companies to anti-corruption and human rights guidance and provides support to SMEs on anti-bribery and corruption compliance and prevention.

22 May - DFID Global Funds Department Update
On Wednesday, DFID’s Deputy Head of the Global Funds Department (GFD), Niall Fry provided BEI members an update on DFID’s policy engagement and programmes work with global health funds and institutions that include: the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria; Gavi; the Global Polio Eradication Programme; Unitaid; UNAIDs; UNFPA Supplies; and the World Health Organisation.

22 May - The Right Honourable Tobias Ellwood Minister for Defence People and Veterans
We were impressed from the outset that the Minister managed to attend this D Group event as there was not much going on in the House of Commons! The Minister gave us a very broad ranging talk covering the role that the UK might want to play on the world stage in the future, the aspirations of China and Russia, the Rule Based Order that was established at the end of the Second World War and how increasingly this was being challenged, with little push back. Following his presentation there was a very lively, challenging debate. The Minister was strongly pushing the Armed Forces Covenant and alluded to the American DOD contracting process where Companies will be required to state how many Veterans they employ. This was a quite excellent evening.

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Please forgive my indulgence for one more comment on this year’s BEI Awards.  We have created a winners’ brochure using pictures from the event which you can find here. Thankfully these were taken before the after party! We are already planning for next year so please do send us your suggestions and ideas.

There is also much to look forward to in the coming weeks, all accessible on the Strategy International website events pages. I’d like to draw your attention to the annual BEI Meet the UK Ambassadors Events where we are looking forward to hosting UK Heads of Mission as they provide updates on their respective regions. Spaces will be limited and I would encourage you to book now. We look forward to seeing you soon and in the meantime, wish you a wonderful long weekend, hopefully full of sunshine and fun. 

For those of you managing the emotional angst of GCSEs and A levels – you have my sympathies and may next week give us all some respite!

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Tracey Smith
CEO, British Expertise International


Event Highlights:

Wednesday 29th May 2019 – BEI
DFID Work in the Middle East and North Africa 
Emma Donelly, Deputy Director of DFID’s Middle East and North Africa Division

Wednesday 29th May 2019 – The D Group Dinner
The Future of Air Power 
Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen John Hillier, KCB CBE, DFC, Chief of the Air Staff

Thursday 30th May 2019 – The D Group Dinner
Dealing with the Russians 
Dr Andrew Monaghan, Director of Research on Russia and Northern European Defence and Security, The Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College, University of Oxford

Thursday 13th June 2019
Meet the UK Ambassadors — AFRICA
Join BEI in association with Invest Africa for our annual “Meet the Ambassadors” Africa events. UK Heads of Mission will provide political and economic updates and share their insights on opportunities for British Business. Please double check venues as some meetings will be held as usual at 23 Grafton Street and others at:

• East Africa — 8.45am (Venue — 23 Grafton St)
• Francophone Africa — 11.30am (Venue — 23 Grafton St)
• Southern Africa — 9.30am (14 June, venue — PwC, More London)
• West Africa– 1.30pm (venue — IHS Markit, London)
• Central Africa– 8.30am (venue — Squire Patton Boggs, EC2M 4YH)