1. The world is changing – economic and political power is rapidly shifting.

2. The English language, education and the arts are vital factors in the UK’s global appeal.

3. We are at the forefront of strengthening the UK’s connections and relationships with countries that will be the major powers of the 21st century.

The world is changing

• The world is changing – economic and political power is shifting from west to east. The development and strengthening of relationships beyond our traditional allies and trading partners is essential for the UK’s economic success and strategic interests.

  • While traditional trade partners in the EU and the USA remain critically important to the success of the UK economy, exports to key, fast-developing markets like China, the UAE, South Korea and India are growing in significance and offer the greatest opportunities for growth.
  • Alongside changes in the global economy, the certainties of twentieth century global power structures give way to a multi-polar world with new challenges and opportunities. The UK will need both old friends and new partners and alliances to secure its international strategic interests.

The UK’s appeal

  • We build a basis of friendly knowledge and understanding with key emerging powers around the world, making a positive contribution to these countries using the cultural resources of the UK such as art, sport, education, science, culture, language, innovation, creativity, and the sharing of the UK’s values and ways of living.
  • There is particularly strong demand for the UK’s expertise in the English language, the creative industries and education sector in rapidly growing economies, where skills training and economic diversification are recognised as essential to long-term, sustainable economic growth.
  • By sharing the best of the UK’s expertise and showcasing our cultural assets we help shape attitudes to the UK – challenging negative stereotypes and raising awareness of the opportunities for investment, study and partnership.

At the forefront of the UK’s connections and relationships

  • We have been playing an active role in most emerging powers for decades and have already developed trust and countless deep and lasting relationships for the UK.
  • Our work today focusses on building strong links between people in the UK and people in the places that will matter most for the UK’s future security and prosperity: the ‘BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa); the ‘Next Eleven’ (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey, South Korea, and Vietnam); and other key countries including Colombia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.



  • We have a long history of engagement and an established presence in high growth markets for the UK. For example, we opened our offices in Turkey in 1940, Mexico in 1943, Indonesia in 1948, and South Korea in 1973.
  • In Brazil, we have initiated a major four-year programme, ‘Transform’, to coincide with the Olympic handover from the UK to Brazil which will have reached 3 million people by the end of 2016.
  • In 2015 we led on the High Level UK-China People to People Dialogue which saw agreements including the signing of the new UK-China Film Co-Production Treaty and the framework agreement for strengthening UK-China collaboration in education
  • We also launched Generation-UK-India, a programme that aims to provide opportunities for up to 25,000 young people and professionals from the UK to gain study or work experience in India by 2020.
  • 2015 : The Year of the UK in Mexico saw 50 events in 13 towns and cities across Mexico. The UK was the Guest of Honour at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in late November, an event that attracts over 800,000 visitors from across Latin America. The 200-strong UK delegation included novelists, poets, children’s authors, publishers, illustrators, scientists, academics, musicians, architects – and Shaun the Sheep.
  • The UK–India Education and Research Initiative brings together Indian and UK academic institutions, government and industry to share innovation, strengthen leadership and international co-operation in the higher education sector, impart more skills and improve academic mobility. In 2014-15 UKIERI supported 42 joint research partnerships in engineering, computer science, the life sciences, involving over 80 institutions across the UK and India.
  • The Newton Fund is a £375 million fund which, through science and innovation partnerships, promotes the economic development and welfare of poor people in partnering countries including Brazil, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam, and. It aims to strengthen science and innovation capacity and unlock further funding to support poverty alleviation.