Head of Southeast Asia & Asia Pacific Lead for Consumer Sectors - Trade, Scottish Development International

British High Commission
Full Time
2 weeks ago

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, 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.

Other British Government Departments (Partners across Government, including UK Visas)

SDI (Scottish Development International)

This is a pivotal role for achieving SDI’s strategic and operational trade objectives within Asia.

It involves ensuring market trends and insights are factored into the development of the consumer sectors operating plan, and working with the International Consumer Sectors Head and International Sector Management Team colleagues and partners to negotiate and put in place the resources to deliver against these opportunities.

The role also involves leading a team of food & drink and consumer sectors trade specialists within Asia Pacific to both deliver exporting support to individual companies and identify opportunities to undertake trade development work.  The role ensures that specialists are working with those companies most likely to deliver against SDI targets, and that colleagues based overseas are working as part of an account team with colleagues in Scotland to provide appropriate support.  The post holder is accountable for the delivery of all trade support and development activity undertaken within the geography.

There is also a significant and important Regional Management element to this role with a need to have oversight of SDI’s trade & investment delivery across Southeast Asia, acting as a People Manager for all trade & investment specialists located in that region. 

The post holder will contribute to the creation of ambitious, credible and deliverable global operating plans to achieve exports from Scotland through exercising critical thinking and sound judgement and using an evidence based approach and collaborating with global counterparts.

  • Delivery of outstanding contribution towards SE and SDI business plan measures and targets through a focus on execution prioritising activities and deploying resources in line with the operating plan.
  • Development of a motivated, engaged and highly skilled team with a focus on coaching and continuous improvement through learning and development.
  • Development of a strong and supportive strategic and delivery partnership at a regional, national and international level through personal credibility and pragmatism to create win-win scenarios.
  • Support and embed a culture that enables the new global approach to trade through personal leadership displaying exemplary resonant behaviours.
  • Accountable for the design, support and delivery of approaches and activities in a way that makes best use of people and financial resources to produce investment outcomes across the Geography.

Consumer Sectors Trade Responsibilities

  • Ensuring that there is a robust, geographically relevant, dynamic sector operating plan(s) or equivalent and managing performance against that plan(s), alongside SE / SDI / HIE colleagues and partners, including DIT.
  • Acting as SRO for specific events taking place within the geography and managing senior-level relationships to ‘champion’ the sector/geography, its trade opportunities and the work of SDI to clients, partners and stakeholders
  • Providing specific market insight relating to the sector in your specific geography, providing guidance to colleagues and partners.
  • Identifying and progressing (via team members) major opportunities (e.g. Health & Wellness, Aquaculture) and shaping trade development and trade support activity in the Geography.

Regional Management

  • Accountability for the effective, efficient and compliant operations of SDI’s trade & investment delivery across the Southeast Asia region, including people and financial resources, key relationships and operational delivery.
  • SRO for Ministerial and Senior level visits to the Region, ensuring all delivered activities support the delivery of SDI’s trade & investment objectives.
  • Development of a Country “plan” and performance over view, including a synthesis of market insights beyond FDI / trade responsibilities
  • Scottish partnership development, especially with respect to the role universities play, as well as Chambers, Local authorities, etc and making a contribution to Scottish Government country-specific plans.
  • ‘Local’ partnership development especially with UK Government (FCO / DIT) as well as many ‘intermediaries from across the region.

People Management

  • People management responsibility, with a strong focus on coaching and performance management
  • Directly supporting team members with more complex or challenging company/customer work, involving company visits.
  • Ensuring the team culture is strongly focused on performance and customers (internal and external) and that accurate, up-to-date management information is maintained on internal systems
  • Establishing personal credibility and demonstrate valuable contribution to Scotland’s economy through managing senior level partner and stakeholder relationships


  • Travelling within the Geography and at times to Scotland, with attendance at evening and other events

This role is based in Singapore.  The post holder will have both a sector and regional management responsibility.

Span of Control: 10-15 direct/indirect reports

Accountability: to Director of Asia Pacific

Level of Accountability: Deployment of financial and people resources; prioritisation of activity and resources; Activity design and selection.

External accountability: Existing and potential trade customers in Scotland and across Asia Pacific.  Existing investment customers in Scotland and in country/region.

Geographical span of control: Supporting the global sector trade delivery plans through indirect management of approximately 8 consumer sectors team members across Asia Pacific. Direct line management of 5 staff within Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Financial Responsible: Budget management of circa £200k. Delegated authority as per Grade in SE scheme of delegated authority.  Negotiate and bid for funding to deliver key events in market as part of the development of the international sector delivery plan.  Although not directly responsible for this budget, post holders should have oversight of what that budget is being used for within their region.

  • The ability to lead complex teams in challenging environments (e.g. across multiple cultures, economic systems, administrative jurisdictions etc)
  • High degree of sensitivity in working with people from different backgrounds, cultures etc and doing so to achieve results
  • Experienced in people management and resonant leadership, with the ability to successfully manage a team to meet challenging targets and high performance, within a supportive coaching environment
  • A highly skilled communicator and negotiator, able to develop relationships with senior colleagues and stakeholders within a complex and challenging environment.
  • Customer relationship management skills, with high levels of confidence and credibility in dealing with senior personnel
  • Diagnostic, strategic challenger, influencer and facilitation skills
  • Knowledge of international trade and experience of supporting companies to export
  • Experience of taking management responsibility for international market events
  • Experience of managing team budgets
  • An ability to quickly analyse complex situations and take creative and innovative approaches to staying ahead of the competition
  • Understanding of economic development, international trade & investment and sector development, with detailed knowledge of relevant sectors
  • A relevant degree level qualification (or equivalent level of experience)

Seeing the Big Picture, Changing and Improving, Making Effective Decisions, Leading and Communicating

22 February 2019

D6 (L)

Full-time, Permanent


Asia Pacific



British High Commission



8 April 2019

Normal working hours are 37.5 per week: 8.30am to 5.00pm from Monday to Friday. 

BHC Singapore supports and promotes flexible working as a crucial part of our inclusive offering. This particular role allows for flexibility in start and end times, working compressed hours, working remotely on one or a couple of days in a week, and the possibility of a job share arrangement, subject to agreement with management.

No accommodation or relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position. This is a locally engaged position subject to local laws and terms. Employment offers are subject to successful clearance of pre-employment checks.

Should the successful candidate require a permit to work in Singapore, the British High Commission will apply and sponsor the appropriate pass on their behalf.

All applications must be received before 11:55PM (Singapore Time) on 22 February 2019.

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.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted regarding the next phase of the selection process. To those applicants not short-listed, we extend our appreciation for considering the British Government as a potential employer.