What really goes on inside an Embassy?

What really goes on inside an Embassy?
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Published September 21st, 2010 - 16:15 GMT

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Rupert Potter, Deputy Head of Mission, addressed Bahrain Britain Business Forum gathering at the Crowne Plaza Hotel yesterday, 21st September, and gave some insights into this question.

At the lunch meeting, Khalid Al-Zayani, Chairman of the BBBF welcomed two speakers to address the group. First was Rupert Potter, who outlined the role the Embassy plays in supporting individuals and businesses in Bahrain – including helping companies into market and encouraging investment back to the UK. Second to speak was Don Porter, Joint Managing Director of MSB Consultancy, after introducing the business Mr. Porter then outlined the Company's Leadership conference which is being held in Bahrain in October.

Starting the presentations Rupert Potter outlined work at the Embassy

"The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has changed a great deal over the past few years; so I hoped to open the doors a little on what a British Embassy really does, and why."

Mission work is a mixture of traditional diplomacy - the political process that ensures the UK and Bahrain governments work together to tackle strategic issues. There's a defence role, with UK armed forces personnel embedded with the US 5th fleet, a small RAF base at the international airport, and visits and knowledge sharing in both directions. And there are consular services to ensure UK citizens are supported away from home.

"The area that BBBF members are likely to be most interested in are those aimed at supporting businesses in Bahrain and in welcoming Don Porter from the MSB Consultancy here today we have an example of their work in action" said Khalid Al-Zayani.

"We work more closely every year and as a Bahraini Chairman of this group I want to thank all of the Embassy staff for their hard work over this past year. I want to acknowledge the fruits of their work. We have seen a number of very productive and high profile visits in support of UK industry - the Duke of York, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Bar Council and we hope to see this continue as we build our connections together with the BCCI" he continued.

Don Porter from MSB Consultancy, an international people development and culture change specialist also spoke at the meeting to outline the Company's upcoming conference which is to be held in Bahrain on 27th October entitled "Leading Change". The conference will offer leadership and motivational insights from business leaders who have brought about positive change in local, regional and international organisations. Speakers will include Peter Kaliaropoulos, Batelco Group CEO, Samer Majali, CEO of Gulf Air, Gordon Dewar, CEO, Bahrain Airport Company and global Chief Operating Officer of Barclays Wealth, Andrew Tinney.

"We have had tremendous support from the team at UKTI and can honestly attest to the truth of "Business Friendly Bahrain". Our previous experience of Bahrain has shown us that there is a talented workforce within the Kingdom and a number of leading organizations. We are looking forward to working closely with local businesses and are excited about what our upcoming conference has to offer" said Don Porter CBE, joint MD, MSB Consultancy. 

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