Dear Members and friends,
Even the alarming situation off the coast of Ukraine this week has failed to distract from the Brexit Deal or No Deal dilemma. In hindsight, perhaps picking a result from 15 randomly selected boxes would have been a more productive and, dare I say, a more democratic process! Nevertheless, an air of resignation looms over the outcome of the vote on 11th December which does raise the worrying question of “What do we do next?”. All this uncertainty aside, Strategy International continues to peer over the Brexit fence at the opportunities for UK plc beyond, and here are some of the key takeaways from this week’s programme of events.
On Monday, BEI and BCLP hosted a very informative engagement with a team from the Asian Development Bank. The seminar included an overview of the ADB’s new Strategy 2030, updates on procurement processes and sector specific updates including some pipeline opportunities. Of great interest was the ADB’s scale-up on private sector operations. BEI will be arranging a Mission to ADB Manila in March 2019 for the Business Opportunities Fair and details will follow. Please do register your interest to join the Mission.
On Tuesday we welcomed Ian Stewart, Chief Economist, Deloitte for dinner to discuss whether robots will destroy jobs and increase inequality. A pertinent topic, Ian's remarks were eloquent and based on his experiences working with mass data. Parallels were drawn from times in history where technology has forced a substantive change in the job market. Clearly, the rising tide of automation will affect our future job market and education will play a vital role in preparing us for this, a responsibility that should be shared by all. The debate around the table was stimulating and gave all food for thought on how business may be shaped in the future.
On Wednesday night, a diverse group of companies come together to listen to the CEO of UK Major Ports Group, Tim Morris, share his views on how the UK’s ports can thrive in the future. We discussed a wide range of issues: how to increase capacity, the pros and cons of automation, innovation, road and rail freight development, environmental policy, attracting the right level of human resources. Of course, the dreaded B-word came up a few times too – but the general feeling around the table was not of doom and gloom, but rather of cautious optimism. Ports are real catalysts for job creation, benefitting coastal communities and supporting the economy by bringing in FDI. By staying agile, competitive and entrepreneurial, Britain’s ports can continue to thrive in the years to come.
Even though the festive season is approaching faster than Usain Bolt in a Santa’s outfit, our events schedule shows no sign of letting up. To help you avoid any December double booking, below are the event highlights for the month ahead.
Hope you all have a good weekend and get a chance to relax before the start of the pre-holiday rush.
James Jones, Director of Account Management
Wednesday 5th December – BEI Meeting
Private Infrastructure Finance in Developing Countries: five challenges – five solutions
Judith Tyson, Research Fellow, ODI
Wednesday 5th December – D Group Lunch
Blockchain 2018 – The Year in Review. And 2019, The Year Ahead…
Toby Lewis, Founder and CEO, Novum Insights
Thursday 6th December – BEI Meeting
IMPORTS FOR PROSPERITY – UK Business Consultation Event (London)
Wednesday 12th December – D Group Dinner
#MeToo – Where do we go from here?
Caroline Noblet, Co-Global Head of Labour and Employment, Squire Patton Boggs (UK)
Tuesday 18th December – BEI Meeting
Opportunities for UK Business in Myanmar (Burma)
Douglas Barnes, Director Burma, Department for International Trade
British Expertise International Awards:
Wednesday 17th April 2019 – BEI Awards
British Expertise International Awards 2019
Submission deadline extended to 1st January 2019