Dear Members and friends,

On the back of last weeks (non)gotiations in Brussels perhaps some green shoots are now emerging, but I fear we’re still someway off the “rosy garden” just yet!

Nevertheless, Strategy International continues to look over the horizon and beyond Europe to new and exciting markets and opportunities for our members. This week’s instalment of events was no exception as we focused on what Latin America and the Caribbean have to offer UK plc and debated the challenges of Artificial Intelligence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

On Monday, BEI CEO Tracey Smith attended the Oman – Open for Business Seminar, which included H.E. Sayyidd Badr Bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sultanate of Oman, The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, UK Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the FCO and DIT, and H.E. Hamish Cowell, UK Ambassador to Oman. The event highlighted the advantages of location, a safe business environment and many opportunities Oman offers to UK plc, particularly with reference to the development of the Duqm Port region.

On Wednesday we were delighted to host Jo Crellin, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean (LATAC) along with her team for a lunch discussion on opportunities for UK plc in the region and how her department can support UK business. The resounding message was that the LATAC region has exceptional opportunities that UK business can pursue and though there may be some challenges these are not insurmountable. Furthermore, the Department for International Trade is making a concerted effort to enhance awareness of LATAC opportunities for the benefit of UK plc.

Thursday evening was a memorable, thought provoking and exciting discussion with Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford on the Challenges of Artificial Intelligence. AI has been around since 1956 and “Today’s AI is Tomorrow’s Political Science.” There was an interesting debate concerning sovereign AI, with China intending to invest $140 Billion by 2030. Europe is also investing heavily but increasingly ethics, privacy and data control is becoming a topic of conversation. There is strong competition for young talent in this area and students leaving university can start on a salary of £85k!

Sir Nigel thought that we would not see a mass reduction in jobs and there would always be a role for human beings where emotional intelligence was involved. He recently co-authored “The Digital Ape” which dispels confusion and misconception and is a must-read for those interested in our future with smart machines.

Looking at the month ahead, November has a jam-packed calendar, so I have picked out of few event highlights for your diaries. Spaces are filling up so please do register now to avoid any disappointment.

1st November - The Rt Hon Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

5th November - HE Catriona Lang, High Commissioner to Nigeria

6th November - MEAG Reception with Frank Gardner OBE

8th November - Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor, Business

21st November - Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO, The Digital Catapult

All it leaves me to say is to wish you all a great weekend and for those who have been able to take some leave, enjoy half term and some well-earned time with the family.

Warm Regards,


James Jones, Director of Account Management

Event highlights:

Tuesday 30th October – BEI Lunch
Lunch with HE Mr Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates
HE Mr Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates

Thursday 1st November – D Group Lunch
Apprenticeships and Skills
The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Department for Education

Monday 5th November – BEI Meeting (15:00)
HE Catriona Laing CB, High Commissioner-Designate to Nigeria – Roundtable Discussion
HE Catriona Laing CB, High Commissioner-Designate to Nigeria