The British Council: Economics, Finance and Management

Economics and finance policy

Introduction

This sector is concerned with the exchange of economic ideas, the promotion of excellence in economic analysis and rigour in the formulation of economic policy. It is also concerned with facilitating the transfer of both economic and financial skills.

More detailed information about aspects of economic policy as currently promoted by major funding agencies is contained in the Council's 'Development Priority Guidelines' for this sector.

UK capability in this sector

Britain is a world leader in economic thought with a long tradition of economic excellence and practical policy innovation. It also has world-leading academic, research, consultancy and teaching institutions which enjoy widespread international recognition for their contribution to economic policy debate.

Britain is an advanced industrial economy which occupies an important position in the global economy through its trading and financial links with other countries. It is a major financial services centre. The City of London contains banks which are responsible for twenty per cent of all international bank lending, one of the world's largest stock exchanges and the world's biggest insurance industry. Britain has an extensive range of financial, legal and managerial skills to deploy.

Sponsors' objectives

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
The British government's domestic economic policy is to ensure sustainable economic growth through low inflation and sound public finances. This is reflected in foreign policy which has the objective of enhancing Britain's security and prosperity through promoting world peace and economic growth.

Department for International Development (DfID)
A central element of British government overseas aid policy is that sustainable development requires the implementation of sound economic policies and financial management practices in developing countries. It pursues this policy aim by assisting states to carry out economic reform programmes and to develop financial management skills.

British Council objectives in this sector

The Council seeks to promote an understanding of the principles of policy formulation; the importance of institutional and regulatory frameworks; and the need for sound financial practices in both the public and private sectors. In addition, the Council promotes the use of appropriate British economic and financial expertise as an effective contribution to policy formulation.

British Council resources in economics and finance

Services

The Council works in two mutually supportive areas:

Means of delivery

The Council does not give economic advice. It undertakes activity which enables individuals to participate in debate and to contextualise discussions and options. Within its Governance team at headquarters, it has an Economics and Finance specialist, a part of whose role is to develop the skills of the Council's operational teams overseas in this sector.

The Council works through key partnerships with important British resources including academics, opinion formers and practitioners. These partnerships will be developed along more formal lines with the establishment of an advisory group which will assist the Council in developing its policy and practices in the economics and finance field. The partnerships are matched by key contacts and partners developed by the Council's offices overseas.

Information about Britain is targeted at key groups in support of other sector objectives. The Council will continue to develop its local capacity to understand and analyse the economic environment of its overseas work in order to better inform the targeting of Council activity in this sector.

The Council is able to work across public and private sector boundaries and takes a long-term view of the impact its work with people will make.

This means that it can be forward-looking and present British economic and financial experience and expertise outside the immediate political operating context in both Britain and host countries.

The Council has the capacity to transfer experience not only bilaterally between Britain and the countries in which it works, but also multi-nationally throughout its overseas network.

Please send questions and comments on this policy paper to:

Consultant (Economics and finance)
The British Council
Manchester M15 4AA


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