Global Business Network: August Newsletter


A global driving force for international trade & business

Anne-Marie Martin, Director Global Business Network, BCC

This is our second newsletter which serves as a Chamber to Chamber showcase of the Global Business Network – a front window into members’ services, support for business and ambitions that will provide insight into how counterparts in the UK/ abroad are engaging in the international trade promotion and support services sphere and how you can connect and engage with each other in the future.

I am delighted to be able to finally welcome our colleagues from across Europe to the Global Business Network, following a strategic integration between the BCC and COBCOE networks, an agreement which was finalised in early June.

This issue focuses on Latin American and Caribbean markets. We are pleased to have showcased our Chambers in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic, with contributions from the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Business West as well as events being organised in the UK network, and our own International Trade Summit in the Autumn.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in October at our three full days of events, details below. In the meantime, best wishes for a wonderful Summer!

Contact Anne-Mariewith any queries or feedback

UK Government update

Following his appointment, the new Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, performed a comprehensive Cabinet reshuffle. This spreadsheet sets out the new Cabinet, along with relevant junior ministerial appointments.

BCC Director General, Adam Marshall gave media interviews to Channel 4, BBC News, Sky News, CNN and Radio 5 Live amongst others following the election of the new Prime Minister. Hannah Essex, BCC Co-Executive Director, Policy & Campaigns also gave interviews on BBC News to discuss the latest developments.

BCC have sent welcome letters and Business Priorities for HM Government to all Cabinet Members and we are busy working to strengthen relationships within the new UK Government.

In the past weeks, Adam Marshall has met with the Prime Minister and many of his colleagues including the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, and the Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP. Discussing the key priorities to boost business confidence and stimulate the economy, Adam Marshall said “Many of the things businesses have been calling out for can be implemented at speed, and would send the strongest possible signals to companies and investors grappling with ongoing uncertainty and change”. In a recent meeting with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, it was emphasised that he, along with other members of the Cabinet will be friends of business throughout their tenure.

Trading with Latin America and the Caribbean

George Middleton, Business Specialist for Latin America & the Caribbean, Department for International Trade (DIT), UK

Changes in the UK’s trading focus, matched with an increasing openness in the Latin American region, mean that the UK should be bold and ambitious in its trade and investment aspirations. Latin America and the Caribbean region is huge: 33 countries and 15 overseas territories, home to over 650M people, with unparalleled natural resources like oil and gas, mineral deposits, freshwater and agriculture. Collectively, it is equivalent to the third biggest economy in the world, after the US and China. Some estimates suggest individually Brazil and Mexico, already huge, could become the fifth and seventh largest global economies by 2050. In addition, this is a region that is developing: since 2000 the middle class has grown by 50%. In Brazil alone, over 40 million people have joined the consuming middle classes in recent years, increasing demand for modern infrastructure and services.

The UK’s presence in the region has diminished since the 1920s and now accounts for only 1% of the region’s imports and around 3.5% of services. As markets in the region have grown and opened up to overseas business, there is a huge potential. The time is right for UK companies to capitalise on these opportunities.

The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has staff based in 19 markets around the region, to support UK companies win business across Latin America & the Caribbean.They have identified opportunities for UK companies experienced in doing business overseas, in sectors including the following:

  • Energy
  • Infrastructure
  • Marine
  • Mining
  • Life Sciences
  • Automotive & Advanced Engineering
  • Global Sports Economy
  • Food & Drink
  • Education
  • Security

To help make Latin America & the Caribbean as accessible as possible to UK companies, DIT and partners deliver a wide programme of activities for UK companies to engage with, in the UK, as well as out in the region.Those upcoming include major delegations visiting the UK from: Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and Dominican Republic.

Please click here for more information.

Please connect with me for more information on Latin America & the Caribbean or DIT’s HM Trade Commissioner Jo Crellin.

The Argentine-British Chamber of Commerce

Alejandro Campo, CEO

The Argentine-British Chamber of Commerce recently completed its third mission to the UK to present its views on the impact of Brexit on Argentinian business. The sectors addressed were

  • Market access
  • Agroindustry
  • The knowledge economy
  • Energy and oil & gas
  • Finance and infrastructure
  • Mining
  • Women in business

The Chamber works closely with relevant bodies in Argentina and the UK to contribute to the development of bilateral trade and investments providing quality services and enabling Argentina to find a fundamental partner in its path towards international repositioning.

Please click here for more information.

Chilean-British Chamber of Commerce

Greg Holland, CEO

In January 2019, the British and Chilean governments agreed a trade continuity agreement, effectively rolling over the existing EU-Chile FTA to ensure trade between the two countries would not be affected by Brexit. This was the first trade agreement that the UK had signed outside of the EU collective, demonstrating once again the strong economic, political and trade relationship between Chile and the UK, and, a much-needed shot of positivity for members of the Chilean-British Chamber of Commerce and clients alike.

Since the beginning of the year, the Chamber has been engaging with members, clients and partners – including the Global Business Network - to keep Chile front of mind. With so many companies worried about their exports to the EU, and looking around for new markets, what better place to look at than Chile?

The Chamber continue to provide updates and information for members on the Brexit process and how – if at all – it will affect business and trade between the UK and Chile. However, the trade continuity agreement has eased most of these worries.

For their clients and partners back in the UK, the message is slightly different – ‘come and take a closer look at the opportunities in Chile’. There are major opportunities in the expansion of Santiago’s metro system, the construction of 25 new hospitals, a new four-year infrastructure development plan, green and renewable technology, the roll-out of smart cities technology, agritech, sports stadia for the 2023 Pan-American Games, and organic and free-from food and drink. So, there are plenty of opportunities for our members and clients to get their teeth into, far-removed from any concerns back in the UK.

Please click here for more information.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Costa Rica

Jose Pablo Brenes, CEO

Since 2016, the British Chamber of Commerce in Costa Rica has organised events aimed at understanding Brexit’s impact on trade between the UK and Costa Rica. The Chamber recently met with Mrs. Dyalá Jiménez Figueres, Foreign Trade Minister of Costa Rica, where they agreed to work together to reduce the possibility of a disruption in current tariffs. Chamber President, Kenneth Waugh, and Executive Director, José Pablo Brenes, also met with the Costa Rican Chamber of Exporters’ executive board to focus on strengthening the Costa Rican export sector in the face of the UK’s imminent exit from the EU.

The BCC Global Business Network serves as an important platform for accelerating business between Costa Rica and the UK and is highly valued by Chamber members. According to Procomer, Costa Rica's free trade agreements account for two-thirds of the world’s gross domestic product and cover over a third of the world’s population. Costa Rica is the only Central American country with a free trade agreement with China, and maintains 14 FTAs that provide access to 57 global trade partners including the U.S., Canada and the EU. British companies will find a diverse range of business opportunities in Costa Rica, in sectors including:

  • medical devices
  • pharmaceuticals
  • digital technologies
  • cybersecurity
  • food and drink

Please click here for more information.

The British Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic

Francesca Ortez, Executive Director

Despite the uncertainties after Brexit, the British Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic (BRITCHAM) want to ensure that trade and investment between both countries continues to strengthen. The recent agreement between UK and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) guarantees trade continuity without additional fees or barriers and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between both governments was signed. Through this MOU, UK Export Finance made available up to £500M to finance the procurement of goods and services of British origin for the development of infrastructure projects, and an additional £250M as a financial support for companies in both countries for the acquisition of goods, services and investments.

The UK is currently the largest destination for Dominican exports throughout Europe and the 5th largest foreign investor in the Dominican Republic (DR) with more than $1BN of investment and a bilateral trade that hovers around $300M per year.

In order to diversify trade and investments flows between both countries, BRITCHAM have developed a strategy of positioning the DR as the Logistics Center of the Americas, since they have access to the main markets of the world and an attractive incentive regime for exports of goods and services to these markets. Also, they have structured an agenda focused on “Building a Climate Resilience Strategy”, based on four main areas:

  1. Energy and Oil & Gas
  2. Infrastructure and Urban Planning
  3. Transport and Logistics
  4. Innovation and TICs

Dominican Week is the most important annual event for the promotion of the DR as a strategic business, investment and trade partner to the UK. A high-profile business delegation and representatives of the Dominican government travel to London to participate in important meetings with representatives of UK government and Parliament, as well as several business B2B meetings and cultural events. This year's event will be celebrated from 21- 24 October 2019.

Please click here for more information.

Tips for UK companies trading in Latin America

Sarah Hildersley, Market Specialist - Latin America, Business West

Sarah Hildersley was recently involved in organising a roadshow on Latin America and the Caribbean. Headed by Jo Crellin, the UK’s Trade Commissioner for the region, the roadshow hosted Department for International Trade (DIT) colleagues from across Latin America and the Caribbean who updated around 600 attendees on the latest opportunities.

Please click here to read Sarah's blog with her tips on trading in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The UK Industrial Strategy

Mateus Mendonca Oliveira, Business Engagement, Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

The Industrial Strategy is an ambitious and modern framework, promoting a long-term plan to boost productivity by building strategic relationships with businesses, creating good jobs, as well as investing in skills, infrastructure, and industries of the future. The UK’s aim is to build a strong economy and address shared global challenges which offer enormous potential for growth with partners around the world.

The focus is on four transformative trends that will disrupt nearly every sector and every country – the ‘Grand Challenges’:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Data
  • Ageing society
  • Future of mobility
  • Clean growth

The UK is working with partners in countries across Latin America on the Industrial Strategy and Grand Challenges, as well as Climate Change, Science, Research and Innovation, Infrastructure and Space. The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is spending over £300m in Official Development Assistance in the Latin America region, via:

  • The Newton Fund (£61m UK investment to 2018 across Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Mexico) in collaboration with partner countries uses science and innovation partnerships to promote economic development and social welfare, including on key priorities such as health, food security, and biodiversity.
  • International Climate Finance (including the £177m Sustainable Infrastructure Programme is providing concessional finance across Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, and UK PACT that supports Colombia and Mexico with targeted technical assistance). The UK and Colombia recently signed a bilateral agreement on climate change aimed at strengthening collaboration in sectors such as renewable energy, low carbon vehicles, green finance, biodiversity and protecting rainforests.
  • The Global Challenges Research Fund, which includes the UK Space Agency’s International Partnerships Programme – (£152m 5 year global programme with projects in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru).
  • The Prosperity Fund funded Global Infrastructure Programme (GIP), which delivers capacity building to the governments of Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Mexico to transform infrastructure procurement and delivery by adopting the UK’s approach to the digitalisation of the construction and infrastructure sectors. BEIS, via its delivery partner, the Centre for Digital Built Britain, is enabling the adoption of British standards (under ISO) to the procuring of public infrastructure. This will support sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the partner country and secondary benefits of increased trade with UK and international businesses.

In addition, the UK government is exploring the future growth potential for Clean Growth opportunities across the region, such as low carbon transport, renewable energy, and green finance.

Please click here for more information.


5 September - Doing Business in Europe Expo

sponsored by Moneycorp, William Blythe, & PM+M

Join East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce & Industry for a focused half day expo featuring the latest opportunities in Spain and Germany from specialists in the market. A personal introduction to the Science and Technology Facilities Council helping UK companies access the myriad of opportunities around the world including CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and the European Spallation Source (ESS).

Please click here for more information and booking.

15 October - BCC Get to know your International Network Day

Join BCC and senior teams in the Chamber Network from across the UK and overseas at our “Get to know your International Network” day.

Hosted in Lloyd’s, One Lime Street, London EC3M 7HA, taking place 08:30-17:00 with dinner at 19:00.

This agenda will include 3 key themes:

International Trade:

  • How do we create an integrated framework for 2-way trade and connectivity across the overseas and UK network?
  • Understanding each other’s markets, & offer

Capacity building & sustainability:

  • Creating a centre of excellence
  • Building sustainability in the network

Campaigns & communication:

  • What can we do at the BCC to enhance the brand and drive a positive external perception about British business
  • How can we communicate the value of the GBN to members of chambers?
  • The development of network wide campaigns

In addition, we will finish up by agreeing a plan of action for the Chamber Network in 2020.

Please contact Julia Watson for more information and booking.

16 October - AGM & National Assembly

Join BCC for our AGM & National Assembly taking place in Etc.venues County Hall, Riverside Building, Belvedere Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB.

The National Assembly will take place from 09:30 comprising of Chamber members of each of the Regional Assemblies. The National Assembly represent the Accredited Chamber Network as the 'voice of the Chamber Network' will be hosted by BCC President Francis Martin. Each Chamber can have up to three attendees, typically President/Chairman, CEO or other Chamber representative. All attendees are welcome join BCC for lunch afterwards.

The AGM takes place in the afternoon also hosted by BCC President Francis Martin who will present his Annual Report. This will conclude around 17:30 and we invite you to join us for informal drinks afterwards.

Further details of both the AGM & National Assembly will be circulated closer to the event.

Please contact Julia Watson for further information and booking.

17 October - The BCC International Trade Summit 2019

Join 600 delegates on 17 October at BCC's annual International Trade Summit for an exciting programme of lively panel discussions, inspirational keynote speeches and interactive practical workshops. This year’s overarching theme is “Trading in a Time of Uncertainty” and key themes will include:

Getting goods across borders at a time of uncertainty
How changes in Britain’s trade policy will impact business
The changing nature of global supply chains and the impact on exporters and importers

Complimentary tickets are available for you and your members and you will have received full details as well as marketing tools to help spread the word. Please contact Anne-Marie Martin.

Please click here for more information and registration.