Bahrain

July 12, 2017 - July 18, 2017

Bahrain Legislative Drafting Workshop and Consultations

The U.S. Department of Commerce provides technical assistance to the Government of Bahrain, to introduce best practices in business registration, contract enforcement, insolvency reform, and legislative drafting in an effort to encourage investment and economic growth. To further support these goals, 15 National Assembly Council of Representatives (CoR) officials will travel to Washington, D.C. in order to interact with, and learn from, USG officials.

March 29, 2017

Bahrain: CLDP Organizes High-Level Roundtable on Insolvency Legislation

On March 29, in Manama, CLDP led a Roundtable in close coordination with the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the National Assembly, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), AmCham Bahrain, and other key private sector stakeholders to discuss proposed insolvency legislation and its effect on small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bahrain. US Ambassador William Roebuck provided opening remarks and noted CLDP's accomplishments in Bahrain over the past 10 years, including significant improvements to Bahrain's World Bank Doing Business rankings as a direct result of CLDPs work. The Ambassador noted that from 2016-2017, Bahrain improved by 70 positions on the "starting a business" indicator rankings, i.e. business registration laws, a main area of focus for CLDP’s technical assistance.  

Most importantly, the Roundtable offered an interactive forum for stakeholders to discuss key areas of concern as they related to the draft law, including benefits to SMEs in Bahrain, directly with civil service and elected government officials. By the conclusion of the Roundtable, all parties agreed that they were interested in seeing implementation of a new insolvency law reflecting international best practice and provided a list of recommendations to be considered during the drafting process. Furthermore, following the conclusion of the Roundtable, US Embassy Manama and BCCI put out a joint press release in support of the draft law, which was extensively covered by news media.

March 26, 2017 - March 28, 2017

Bahrain: CLDP Leads Workshop on Drafting Insolvency Law

On March 26-28, in Manama, CLDP organized a workshop on insolvency and best practices on drafting insolvency laws for the legal advisors and legal researchers of the Council of Representatives (COR), the lower house of Bahrain's National Assembly. CLDP experts led discussions with the participants on the policy considerations and economic growth impact of robust insolvency mechanisms, in particular with respect to small-and medium-sized enterprises. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) presented a draft insolvency law that was developed through direct consultation with CLDP. CLDP experts and MOIC staff discussed with participants the cost-benefit of implementing laws and adjudication processes necessary to enforce insolvency proceedings. The projected timeline for the draft insolvency to be considered by the National Assembly is late 2017, making the workshop particularly timely as the COR legal advisors and researchers will have to provide significant support to Members of the COR over the next several months. This workshop is part of a multi-phase program on legislative drafting and capacity building for the COR legal advisors, focusing on commercial legislation.

March 14, 2017 - March 17, 2017

Bahrain: Workshop on Developing New Bankruptcy Law

From March 14-17, CLDP organized a workshop in Singapore for an interagency delegation of Bahraini officials to develop a new legal framework for bankruptcy. Bahrain does not currently allow for company reorganization and limits the role of creditors in the liquidation process.  By developing a new bankruptcy framework, Bahrain is seeking to provide a more efficient mechanism for creditors to maximize their recoveries and for debtors to potentially salvage their businesses. This will ultimately increase the availability of credit in the market and stimulate economic growth, creating new opportunities for U.S. exporters. At a time of low oil and gas prices, Gulf countries depend on the emergence of a diversified small and medium enterprise sector. Modern bankruptcy laws are a key condition of such emergence.

The audience included lawyers from Bahrain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism in addition to a member of Bahrain’s Shura Council--the upper house of Parliament, legal advisers from both houses of Parliament, and representatives of the Central Bank and the Economic Development Board. The workshop was led by a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge from Puerto Rico and a senior partner from a U.S. law firm and featured presentations by bankruptcy professionals, judges, and accountants based in in Singapore. Singapore is known globally for its robust bankruptcy procedures which have resulted in one of the world’s highest recovery rates for creditors. As a result of the workshop, the Bahrain delegation has finalized a timeline for the completion of the first draft of the law and developed a framework that it will present to the private sector and other stakeholders for comments. The costs of the program were co-financed by the Government of Bahrain.

February 9, 2017

3rd Annual Arbitrator Roundtable

On February 9, CLDP and the Kuwait Commercial Arbitration Center co-hosted the third annual regional arbitration roundtable. The program included more than 60 arbitrators from around the MENA region and focused on the review and legal analysis of the Vis-Moot simulated case study as well as the role of arbitrators, particularly in addressing substantive and procedural issues. Participants went on to arbitrate in one or more Vis Pre-Moot competition round. 

February 7, 2017 - February 11, 2017

7th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot

On February 7-11 in Kuwait City, Kuwait, in coordination with the Kuwait International Law School (KILAW), UNCITRAL, International Court of Arbitration (ICC), MENA Chambers, the University of Pittsburg (CILE), and Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR), CLDP hosted the 7th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot. The Pre-Moot was a 5-day regional event that brought together 15 teams from Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates to compete. The program developed the oral advocacy skills of the law students and allowed them to practice their argumentation in front of over 60 international and regional arbitrators and practitioners.

January 24, 2017 - January 26, 2017

MENA: CLDP Organizes Regional Workshop to Support Specialized Business Courts

On January 24-26, CLDP conducted a workshop in Kuwait, in coordination with the Supreme Council on Planning and Development, on best practices in making specialized business courts more competent, efficient and transparent. The workshop focused primarily on the procedural elements that are needed for a successful business court including the development of local procedural rules, mechanisms to fast track cases and obtain injunctive relief, clear and efficient jurisdictional boundaries, and judicial education programs to prepare judges for complex domestic and cross-border disputes.

January 9, 2017 - January 11, 2017

Bahrain Trade Legislation Workshop

On January 9-11, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP), in cooperation with U.S Embassy Manama, Bahrain’s National Assembly, and the Judicial & Legal Studies Institute (JLSI) of Bahrain, conducted a workshop on legislative drafting focusing on international trade agreements.  Twenty-eight legal and economic advisors from the Council of Representatives, Shura Council, and Legislation & Legal Opinion Commission attended the workshop, where they exchanged ideas and concerns related to international trade, attracting private investment to Bahrain, and the potential impact of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) on Bahrain’s economy, as well as discussing Bahrain’s obligations under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).  The workshop provided the legal and economic advisors the opportunity to participate in active discussions, expert-led lectures, and problem-solving exercises, thereby increasing the advisors’ capacity to address trade challenges as the country engages more in worldwide commerce. The program was featured in the Council of Representatives’ social media, including several videos and photos featuring program participants and opening remarks of Aimee Cutrona, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy Manama and Ali Al-Aradi, Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives.  

 

CLDP experts included Ian Fergusson, an expert in WTO agreements and international trade at the Congressional Research Service, and Adam Boltik, an international trade agreement and government procurement expert at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.  The experts provided substantive overview of the WTO, including cooperative conflict resolution mechanisms in which signatory nations engage to resolve trade conflicts. Furthermore, experts discussed the U.S. Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  The participants were able to apply the lectures in small group discussions whereby they analyzed case studies based on plausible real world trade challenges, and made recommendations on how to resolve them.  In addition, the experts covered procurement ethics, assessing economic impacts of entering into free trade agreements, and how to address possible amendment issues.  Participants were also required to review related agreements and draft responses to exercises provided prior to the workshop. In addition, the participants were briefed on the World Bank Doing Business rankings, focusing on the Trading Across Borders factor and Bahrain’s need for a single window system. 

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December 5, 2016 - December 7, 2016

Roundtable on the Role of Courts in Insolvency

CLDP hosted a roundtable focusing on the role of the courts in adjudicating insolvency proceedings and the importance of a restructuring mechanism in domestic legislation that will both revive companies and maximize recovery for lenders. The workshop was led by a US Bankruptcy Judge and a lawyer specializing in insolvency and restructuing. The roundtable included legal advisors and judges from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.