Country Head for UK Export Finance, G7 (British Consulate General)

Job Description

  • Application deadline: 9 October 2023
  • Grade: Grade 7 (G7)
  • Type of Position: Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
  • Working hours per week: 39.5
  • Region: Asia Pacific
  • Country/Territory: Vietnam
  • Location (City): Ho Chi Minh City
  • Type of Post: British Consulate General
  • Number of vacancies: 1
  • Salary Currency: VND
  • Salary: VND 122,484,435
  • Start Date: 11 December 2023
  • Job Category: Department for Business and Trade roles (DBT)
  • Job Subcategory: Department for Business and Trade (DBT)
  • Required behaviours: Seeing the Big Picture, Making Effective Decisions, Delivering at Pace, Communicating and Influencing, Working Together

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.

Roles and Responsibilities

The British Consulate-General Ho Chi Minh City is a large diplomatic mission delivering a dynamic and rapidly expanding programme of activity in support of the UK’s objectives on prosperity, security and consular matters.


UK Export Finance (UKEF) is seeking a Country Head for the Philippines and Vietnam.  The successful candidate will be based in the British Embassy in Manila or the British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City (at the candidate’s selection).
The UK Government is expanding commercial team in Asia Pacific, with a focus on growing UK trade within the region.  Finance is a critical part of promoting more trade between the UK and our overseas partners. UKEF’s Country Head will shape long-term partnerships for prosperity and stability between the UK and the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.
UKEF’s Country Head will join a regional team across UKEF, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

About UK Export Finance 

UKEF is the UK’s export credit agency (ECA) and operates in partnership with DBT.
UKEF’s mission is to advance prosperity by ensuring that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance and  insurance, doing that sustainably and at no net cost to the taxpayer. In 2022/23, UKEF provided £6.4 billion worth of support for UK exports to nearly 100 countries.

UKEF Business Plan

UKEF four-year business plan has 4 delivery objectives, which set out what we need to achieve to realise our mission, and three organisational objectives, which define the resources, skills and operational capabilities we will need to do that.
You can read our Business Plan in full here, and find out more about the Department’s work in the latest UK Export Finance Annual Report and Accounts .

Partners, stakeholders and observers 

UKEF works closely with partners within government, most notably DBT and the FCDO. In the private sector our principal partners include trade associations and financial institutions.
Our work is varied and complex, spanning all business sectors and all corners of the world. UKEF is delighted to have been named best Export Credit Agency by Global Trade Review and Trade Finance Global. This is a recognition of our innovative approach to supporting exporters, comprehensive product offering and substantial appetite to take on new business.

About the Department for Business and Trade

DBT is the UK Government department that helps foster UK exports and inward investment. DBT officers at overseas Embassies, Consulates General and High Commissions liaise with the UK headquarters and other departments across the UK Government to generate commercial, policy and institutional collaborations.

Main purpose of job

UKEF’s Country Head will be responsible for promoting UKEF’s export finance capabilities and developing new business opportunities in the Philippines and Vietnam.
The purpose of the Country Head’s role is to promote export growth through finance.  This will involve building relationships and partnerships with business, government and other stakeholders.  The jobholder will proactively collaborate with DBT and FCDO officials in Vietnam and the Philippines, playing an important role on wider Government initiatives involving UKEF.
As the sole UKEF representative in the relevant British Embassy or Consulate General, the jobholder will work as part of a wider team across British Government Departments, including local DBT and FCDO leads.
The Country Head will  report into UKEF’s London headquarters, and will join UKEF’s strong cross-Asia network of Country Heads based in South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and China.

Main tasks and responsibilities

The Country Head’s key responsibility is to build UKEF’s business and profile overseas, helping to grow UKEF-supported exports by focussing on five areas of activity:
In performing these objectives, the Country Head will form part of the wider Embassy or British Consulate General team, and will contribute to DBT’s Asia Pacific trade and investment objectives.
1. Build, expand and progress new business opportunities for UKEF.
  • Build a diversified pipeline of deal opportunities for UKEF in the Philippines and Vietnam.
  • Demonstrate a strong command of the UK supply chain in key areas such as energy and infrastructure.
  • Raise UKEF’s profile in Vietnam and the Philippines through engagement with C-Suite business leaders, high-profile government representatives and senior leaders within regional and international banks.
  • Engage in early stage structuring and bankability assessments of new transactions, working in close coordination with UKEF’s London team to enhance the prospects of UKEF involvement in overseas projects.
2. Develop and execute UKEF’s growth strategy in Vietnam and the Philippines.
  • Deliver UKEF’s future growth strategy in Vietnam and the Philippines.
  • Develop tailored strategies to expand UKEF’s track record and future business pipeline Vietnam and the Philippines,
  • Represent UKEF at high profile speaker engagements, industry events and conferences locally and across the Asia Pacific region.
  • Support DBT’s local strategic planning, ensuring alignment with UKEF’s strategy and embedding UKEF financing into DBT export campaigns.?
3. Build and share market knowledge.
  • Gain insight into the strategic business objectives of key public and private sector stakeholders in Vietnam and the Philippines.
  • Integrate first hand market insights into UKEF’s strategic plans for Vietnam and the Philippines, sharing local market knowledge with the UKEF, DBT and FCDO teams.
  • Track project and sector development plans and priorities of the Philippines and Vietnamese government.
  • Act as the lead source of UKEF advice to local DBT teams, including integration of UKEF objectives in priority campaigns led by the DBT in Vietnam and the Philippines.
4. Establish and maintain stakeholder relationships.
  • Build and expand UKEF’s business networks and enhance the profile of UKEF products across these networks.
  • Integrate DBT sector leads in core UKEF outreach activities in the Philippines and Vietnam market, creating cohesive business development strategies involving DBT and FCDO at a local and regional level.
5. Build awareness of UKEF support capabilities.
  • Develop tailored presentations to enhance awareness of UKEF’s products and capabilities across the local business community.
  • Enhance DBT team members’ command of UKEF’s financing products through regular presentations, workshops and joint meetings.
  • Lead UKEF collaboration with the local DBT team, including frequent presentations to DBT members on UKEF’s latest strategy and pipeline developments.
  • Coordinate and support visits from UKEF management and support visits from ministers and senior officials from the UK government.
This list is not exhaustive; the Country Head may be required to carry out additional duties according to business needs. The Country Head would be expected to take on a wider corporate contribution to working life in the Embassy or Consulate General, as applicable.

Essential on Arrival:
  • Degree and/or equivalent professional financial or accounting experience
  • At least eight years professional experience
  • Banking and financial sector career experience
  • Strong team player, with an ability to contribute to a regional team across various UK Government departments, in a fast-paced environment
  • Commercial skills, well versed structuring of export credit agency-backed projects
  • Prior experience of business origination/ business development
  • Proven experience of structured finance / trade finance
  • Network of contacts in the business and financial world in Vietnam and the Philippines
  • Proven ability to take the initiative pursuing the objectives in the job description
  • Proven competence in leading strategy development and business planning
  • Proven advisory and negotiation skills at senior levels, with an ability to express ideas and messages clearly and concisely, both orally and in written communication
  • Experience working with exporters and project developers
  • Competent in Microsoft Office applications and appetite to embrace data-driven pipeline management tools
  • Confident public speaking and networking skills
  • Recognition of the importance of developing a  strong business network
  • Able to fulfil the travel requirements of the role and work outside normal office hours as required

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience

  • Detailed knowledge of the regulatory, macroeconomic and political situation Vietnam and the Philippines.
  • Experience of project finance delivery in a regional context
  • Client facing experience, for example with a professional services business (managing businesses, understanding issues and pursuing strategies together)
  • Knowledge of Export Credit Agency credit risk policy and business environment
  • Relevant language skills for working in Vietnam and the Philippines would be desirable.

Other benefits and conditions of employment  

This role is advertised as a full-time, fixed-term of 12 months with possibility of renewal to be based in Ho Chi Minh City.

Learning and development opportunities (and any specific training courses to be completed):

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is committed to developing its staff. There will be opportunities for formal training alongside collaborating with a wide range of colleagues delivering on-the-job learning.
  • Working in a diplomatic mission
  • International policy skills course
  • UK Diplomatic Academy foundation learning
  • Regional and London-based formal learning opportunities
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. Visa sponsorship may be possible for non-Vietnamese nationals if meet local requirements.  
Employees who are not liable to pay local income tax on their Mission salary may have their salaries reduced by the equivalent local income tax amount.
Disabled and ethnic minority applicants will be invited to interviews if meeting the minimum requirement of the job.

Working patterns:

This is a full-time post with 39.5 of working hours per week. The Consulate would be willing to discuss flexible working options.

All applications must be received before 23:55 (Local Vietnam Time) on the day of the deadline indicated above.
Please be aware that the deadline for submitting applications is considered to be the time zone for the country where the vacancy has arisen.
All applicants are required to mandatorily fill the online application form completely including the employment and educational details, experience, professional skills and behaviour-based questions. We will be thoroughly reviewing the applications and incomplete form in any respect may not be considered while shortlisting for the  next stage.
Only shortlisted candidates for interview will be contacted. Interviewees will be assessed on the core behaviours/qualifications listed above. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified via the system in due time. Appointable candidates who were unsuccessful may be placed on a ‘reserve list’.  If during the reserve period of 6 months the same or a largely similar role becomes available, that role may be offered to the second or subsequent candidate”.
Please check the application centre regularly for any update on your application.
Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Country Based Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it. APPLY
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