Supplementary written evidence from Mr
Jeremy Browne MP |
Thank you for the invitation to give evidence to
the Foreign Affairs Committee on the FCO's work around the London
Olympics on 10 November. I am pleased that the Committee is interested
in this aspect of our work and am writing to provide information
on areas of activity where you said you would like more detail.
Trade And Investment
The Foreign Secretary explained in a speech to business
leaders at the City Week Conference on Monday 20 September that
"the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
will place a
greater emphasis on supporting business and commercial diplomacy
internationally. ... Our Embassies will be more focussed going
forward on working to achieve demonstrable benefits for British
business and the British economy. We are serious and ambitious
about our business engagement with the rest of the world and about
enabling business to thrive in the UK. We know that this is where
the future lies."
Trade and commercial opportunities will be a major
focus for all of our Posts in the run up to 2012 and beyond.
Responsibility for international marketing of the
UK's capability and economy lies with UK Trade & Investment
(UKTI). They, in close partnership with BIS and the FCO, are working
to deliver a strong economic legacy from the UK's hosting of the
Olympic and Paralympic Games. Key activity already underway includes:
- Host2Host. A flagship
programme developed to forge relationships with other nations
hosting major events before and after London 2012. The purpose
is to showcase UK expertise to our partner hosts in delivering
major projects on time and on budget. The scope of opportunity
is vast, with countries such as Russia and Brazil estimating approximately
£90bn spends on Olympic and related infrastructure projects.
The Host2Host programme provides a conduit for UK companies to
international buyers, influencers and event organisers/procurement
officials with the goal of increasing economic legacy from the
respective events each country is hosting. So far UKTI has signed
MOUs with Singapore (Youth Olympics 2010); South Africa (Hosts
of 2010 World Cup); Russia (Hosts of Sochi Winter Olympics 2014)
and Brazil (Hosts of 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic Games).
- Directly showcasing UK capability
in delivering major events, through bid consultancy, design, architecture,
construction, fit-out and ticketing solutions. UKTI is working
with regional organisations to produce a 'Supplier Directory'
of UK expertise in these areas. It will be launched at SportAccord
in April 2011 - a conference attended by IOC officials, Host and
Bidding Cities/Nations. The Directory will be supplied to Posts
around the world.
- The international interest shown in direct
2012 contract opportunities (through CompeteFor
- the on-line procurement mechanism for London 2012 supply chains)
is being converted into foreign direct investment. Posts around
the world are in contact with international companies bidding
for 2012 contracts, encouraging them to partner with UK companies
or to look at setting up a base in the UK.
- The hosting of Pre-Games Training
Camps prior to the 2012 Games is an opportunity to
highlight regional investment opportunities and develop trade
links with the country based in each camp. Recently UKTI's East
Midlands team (in conjunction with the British Embassy in Tokyo
and the Japanese Embassy in London) held 'Japan Day' at Loughborough
University, where the Japanese Team will be based. The event was
designed to exploit the trade relationship between the UK and
Japan. It has proved a successful model of best practice which
UKTI and the FCO are encouraging our network to adopt as more
training camps are announced. Our Post in Tokyo also hosted a
trade delegation from the Loughborough region in July as part
of their work to mark two years to London 2012.
- The Olympic Games is not only the greatest sporting
event but also the biggest corporate networking event in the world.
To take best advantage of this opportunity plans are being developed
for "The British Business Embassy" during Games time.
The Embassy will provide a prestigious and cohesively branded
platform to promote UK business. There will be a series of sector
events - including the annual Global Investment Conference - designed
to promote UK capability and attract high value inward investment,
generating 300 investment leads and involving outreach to over
3,000 UK companies. We are developing a digital exhibition of
UK innovation, along with plans for a physical exhibition of UK
excellence in engineering and manufacture. The Embassy itself
will become a legacy project; we plan to set it up at future global
events such as Sochi 2014, the Brazil World Cup 2014 and the Rio
Mark Prisk has indicated that he would also be very
happy to discuss these and other plans with the Committee if you
I attach a brief note which sets out FCO plans as
they stand to engage in the run up to London 2012, and a grid
highlighting some examples of events, including proposals with
a commercial focus planned in our priority countries. This grid
will be further updated and expanded over the coming weeks. We
will be very happy to share the final version with you.
The Green Agenda
Frank Roy asked if there had been a change of emphasis
on the green agenda under the new Government, and whether we had
scaled down plans to use London 2012 to highlight green issues.
I can reassure the Committee that this is not the case. We are
very proud that British expertise has made 2012 what will undoubtedly
be the greenest Olympics ever. We discussed during the evidence
session the 'Going for Green' film. It will be shown worldwide
to an audience which may be as high as 300 million. Our grid of
planned activity at Posts includes a number of events aimed at
making use of this film. I will launch it this week when I visit
The film not only describes the incredible work already
completed, but points to what is still to come. For example, it
tells the story of how after Games time the Park will be the largest
new area of urban parkland in Europe for one hundred years, and
it highlights plans to convert athlete accommodation to affordable
Our 'See Britain' short films, currently being promoted
on the web and shown at our Posts around the world have a significant
'green' element. One already released features Brazilian architect
Lucelia Rodrigues, who talks passionately about sustainable building
practices in the UK; while another has South African environmental
campaigner Polly Courtice describing the UK as at the forefront
of action to combat climate change. Our Posts are also lobbying
hard for a successful outcome at Cancun and regularly promote
green issues at their events and receptions. Again, I will be
doing this myself in Mexico this week.
I look forward to continued close contact with you
as the excitement and opportunity of the Games draw closer.
23 November 2010