View Vacancy - BK - Head of ASEAN Third Country Partnerships (including Belt and Road), C5 (L)

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Department for International Trade roles
Department for International Trade (DIT)

The Prime Minister, Chancellor and DIT Secretary of State have made clear that the UK is a natural partner to the Chinese in their Belt and Road initiative (BRI). BRI is an ambitious strategy being pursued by the Chinese to stimulate trade and economic growth across Asia and beyond. The potential for commercial contracts from partnering with the Chinese is immense. A cross Government drive is underway to maximise benefit to the UK while steering the support BRI can provide towards the projects that matter most to ASEAN countries, and therefore deliver the best economic development impact; this role will be vital in implementing this. DIT needs to identify and prioritise BRI projects which play to UK strengths across a complex number of market; engage potential Chinese partners; and to support UK businesses in engaging these opportunities. 

Roles and responsibilities:

The Postholder will be located in the British Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, but will be a key part of a virtual team led by a team leader based in the UK and also consisting of colleagues in South Africa, Egypt, China and the wider Asia-Pacific region, members of DIT Sector teams and International Directorate in London, and a business  specialist contracted to support initial project development. 

There will be great interest in host countries in this initiative as two G20 partners representing significant private FDI interests joining forces to address their infrastructure requirements. You will need to be sensitive to that without raising expectations beyond what is realistic. This is about a long term partnership but we’ll be expected to deliver early wins.

Your job is to help design and implement interventions in Thailand, and other ASEAN priority countries as appropriate, that support the overall objectives of the UK Prosperity Fund Infrastructure Programme in Beijing, which will run until 2022. You will also need to be mindful of the Prosperity Fund Global Infrastructure Programme run from London over same period, and the DIT’s High Value Campaign for UK participation in infrastructure projects across Asia Pacific.

Although initially focused on China and Belt and Road, the role may expand in the future to include other third countries, including Japan and Korea, as DITs thinking and strategy evolves.

In practical terms, the officer will:

  1. Identify companies / investors from third countries that are pursing Belt and Road projects in ASEAN that are open to working with UK firms 
  2. Prioritise companies / investors from third countries and then develop and implement a regional stakeholder engagement plan
  3. Account manage priority third country stakeholders, using 1-1 engagement and events in priority ASEAN markets, to identify and scope possible commercial opportunities
  4. Collaborate with DIT sector teams in ASEAN working on energy, infrastructure, tech and financial services, DIT China and sector specialists to match identified third country demand with UK supply
  5. Work with DIT/prosperity colleagues to help identify and address barriers which are preventing BRI projects from moving forward and with UKEF to promote export finance
  6. Become the ASEAN BRI expert, share best practice and help shape future third country strategy for the region
  7. Identify flagship infrastructure projects in ASEAN countries to receive UK Government seed funding (up to £100k per project) to support UK participation and development of UK led delivery solutions, in collaboration with third country partners
  8. Support delivery the UK Government’s planned £10 million Prosperity Fund China Infrastructure Programme in ASEAN region.
  9. Be an advocate for the UK with third country stakeholders on use of international standards for infrastructure projects, supporting BSI and DFID-led standards workstreams as appropriate.

We are looking for a proactive, quick learner who can prioritise efficiently to operate in a fast-paced environment, largely unsupervised, delivering to deadlines.  They will need excellent interpersonal and communications skills to build strong relations within the virtual team; in UK diplomatic missions across ASEAN countries; and with stakeholders in the UK, Asia-Pacific and China. The ideal candidate will be experienced in working with UK, Chinese and ASEAN businesses and government bodies.

Essential on arrival:

  • Graduate with a university degree in a relevant subject (e.g. economics, international relations, business etc.) or equivalent experience in infrastructure or political/business engagement
  • Experience in writing policy advice/analysis
  • Computer literate, working with Microsoft Windows and able to manage information effectively
  • Excellent communication skills and experience of liaison with internal and external stakeholders, including at senior level
  • Experience of working to tight deadlines and managing uncertainty and competing priorities to achieve objectives
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Experience working with Chinese stakeholders, preferably in an infrastructure context
  • Excellent working levels of English, both written and spoken. Mandarin Speaker.
  • Knowledge/experience of the infrastructure sector and/or government entities in the region
Seeing the Big Picture, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace
11 March 2019
C5 (L)
Fixed Term
11 months
Asia Pacific
British Embassy
8 April 2019
31 March 2020

The British Embassy offers a competitive remuneration package, including salary (to be abated for those not liable to tax), benefits, a leave entitlement, Health Insurance and full training. The British Embassy Bangkok encourages all staff to develop their capabilities, through both formal training (courses) and informal (job-shadowing, coaching, on-the-job training etc). The majority of our formal L&D opportunities are drawn from FCO resources. All staff are encouraged to share their skills and experience with colleagues, through informal training (‘lunch & learn’) or coaching/mentoring. All staff are eligible for 5 L&D days a year. Please note that there a number of mandatory Consular Training courses and E-Learning that must be completed successfully.

This job is suitable for flexible working patterns, subject to operational requirements.

Employment offers are subject to successful clearance of pre-employment and security checks. Staff who are locally recruited by the British Embassy are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local employment law.

No accommodation or relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position. You must have or be able to obtain work authorisation in Thailand in order to apply.  Any costs related to obtaining or renewing permits and visas are the responsibility of the successful applicant.

Please note that your application must be submitted before 23:55 on the day mentioned in the above field “Application deadline”.

Incomplete application forms will not be taken into consideration, so please ensure you provide the information requested. We regret to advise that we will only be contacting short-listed candidates. Applicants called for an interview will be assessed on the core competencies listed above.

The successful candidate should be able to start as soon as possible. Start date indicated above is subject to change.

Reminder for existing Embassy staff who will be interested to apply:

Along with the completed online application form, candidates should upload their last two years End of Year Appraisals if applicable. If applicants have been employed for less than twelve months, they will need to provide permission from their Head of Section to apply and should attach this to their application. 

Guidance on completing competency based application forms and sitting Interviews can be found on the BE Website and also on the Civil Service Learning portal, Virtual Ashridge portal and (both accessed through the CSL). Staff are strongly advised to refer to these. 

We recommend all applicants to understand the Civil Service competences before applying for any role and in preparation for interviews. For more information, you can visit our website - 

Please check your application centre regularly for any update on your application 

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This opportunity is closed to applications.