Bahrain

December 3, 2018 - December 4, 2018

Bahrain: CLDP Leads First Training for Insolvency Trustees

In early October 2018, Bahrain enacted a new bankruptcy law. Based upon Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the new law makes possible the reorganization of insolvent firms. CLDP provided technical assistance to Bahrain as it was drafting the new law, the main purpose of which is to foster SME development.

In the U.S., United States Trustees play a key role in administration of bankruptcy cases. Their mission is to promote the integrity and efficiency of the bankruptcy system for the benefit of all stakeholders–debtors, creditors. They have broad administrative, regulatory, and litigation/enforcement authority to do so.  To ensure the proper implementation of its new law, Bahrain now needs to have competent Insolvency Trustees.

To address this need, on December 3-4, in Manama, Bahrain, CLDP, in coordination with the country’s Supreme Judicial Council and the Judicial and Legal Studies Institute, conducted a workshop on Bahrain’s new bankruptcy law for 55 Insolvency Trustee candidates. Under the new law, they will play a key role to facilitate restructuring plans and liquidation proceedings. CLDP experts included the Hon. Michael Williamson, Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Middle District of Florida and Andy Vara, Acting U.S. Trustee (Region 3) of the Department of Justice. The experts focused on reorganization case studies and shared their practical experience from the management of bankruptcy cases in the U.S. system. Specifically, participants acquired practical knowledge in three main areas: a) how to address debtor misconduct, including potential conflicts of interest and associated rules; b) asset valuation; and, c) how to determine the merits of reorganization versus liquidation on a case-by-case basis.

December 2, 2018 - December 3, 2018

Bahrain: CLDP Leads First Workshop for Technology Transfer/Innovation Center

With support from the Arab League, Bahrain plans to create a center for technology transfer and innovation. This center will assist universities and industries with the commercialization of new technologies; it will do so initially in Bahrain, and, later, throughout the Gulf.  In support of this initiative, on December 2-3, CLDP led a workshop on “Technology Transfer and University-Industry Partnerships.”  The workshop was organized in coordination with Bahrain’s SME Society, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOICT), Bahrain’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Tamkeen, a public authority tasked with supporting Bahrain’s private sector development. The participants in the workshop came from Academia and from industry.  The two U.S. experts, managers of technology transfer offices at their universities, discussed the role of technology innovation centers at universities as well as the importance of strengthening IP regimes to promote entrepreneurship. The program included a panel that discussed funding opportunities in Bahrain, including building venture capitalist and angel investor networks. After the workshop, CLDP met with local partners as well as with MOICT to discuss raising awareness on IP registration and development. By strengthening Bahrain’s IP regime, CLDP is helping to create a better businesses-enabling environment for U.S. companies.

October 30, 2018 - November 1, 2018

MENA: CLDP Holds Regional Workshop on Technology Transfer

On October 30-November 1, 2018, CLDP, in coordination with the Tunisian Agency for the Promotion of Scientific Research (ANPR), organized a regional workshop in Tunis, Tunisia, on the commercialization of technology for the Middle East and North Africa region. The workshop promoted technology-based entrepreneurship and strengthened local capacity by bringing together government officials and technology transfer stakeholders to discuss technology management. More than 60 participants from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Bahrain attended. Subject-matter experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Technology Transfer, Stanford University, and Carnegie Mellon University focused on practical case studies and management skills such as commercialization metrics, valuation of technology, licensing and assignments, negotiation, and marketing strategies. At the end of the workshop, participants made concrete recommendations that included the development of intellectual property policies for universities and a more advanced train-the-trainer program for experienced technology transfer managers. By strengthening intellectual property rights in the MENA region through technology transfer programs, CLDP helps level the playing field for U.S. companies. CLDP’s ongoing assistance is focused on bolstering innovation and research and development commercialization in all four countries by helping to create a critical mass of in-country specialists equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully commercialize discoveries made by the academic community and act as an effective interface with the business community. 

September 27, 2018 - September 28, 2018

MENA: CLDP Organizes Regional Insolvency Conference

On September 27-28, in Casablanca, Morocco, CLDP organized a regional conference on insolvency for 75 participants from the MENA region. In recent years, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain have passed new insolvency laws that are in line with international best practices, and Kuwait is in the process of drafting a similar law. These laws allow for civil protection from creditors and for the restructuring of companies in financial peril, but success in transforming the insolvency practices in these countries will depend upon proper implementation of the new laws. For that reason, CLDP organized a regional conference for judges, lawyers, trustees, and other stakeholders from each of these 5 countries to come together to hear best practices and practical examples from the U.S. and to share experiences. CLDP expert advisors, including two U.S. federal bankruptcy judges and an insolvency expert from the UN Commission on International Trade Law spoke about the role of the judiciary in restructuring cases, cross-border insolvencies, methods of valuation, and the role of alternative dispute resolution in restructuring cases, all key considerations in the successful implementation of an effective insolvency system. This regional workshop complements CLDP’s bilateral insolvency assistance in the region, which aims to prepare the judiciaries in these countries to preside over insolvency proceedings. The new laws and their effective implementation will help these countries attract foreign investment, including U.S. investors who seek fair and predictable mechanisms for credit recovery.

September 26, 2018 - September 27, 2018

Bahrain: CLDP Leads Judicial Training on Implementing New Bankruptcy Law

From September 26-27, in Manama, CLDP, in coordination with the Supreme Judicial Council of Bahrain, conducted a judicial training on the development of a bankruptcy system in Bahrain for 16 local judges. Bahrain recently adopted a new bankruptcy law in accordance with international best practices, which allows for restructuring proceedings. CLDP experts included the Hon. Michael Williamson, chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Middle District of Florida, who focused on reorganization case studies, while also sharing practical experience on bankruptcy case management in the U.S. system. Participants learned about the process by which bankruptcy cases are adjudicated in the U.S. Topics included how a transparent and predictable bankruptcy system can help attract foreign investment, the role of court automation and case management technology in ensuring efficient and transparent adjudication of disputes, and valuation methods and the enforcement of cross border bankruptcy judgments, which is becoming increasingly important with the global nature of commercial lending. CLDP will be actively promoting the new bankruptcy law in Bahrain to help train a new cadre of bankruptcy trustees as well as to train the judges that will preside over insolvency proceedings, alongside the government stakeholders that will regulate the bankruptcy system. 

September 26, 2018 - September 27, 2018

Bahrain: CLDP Releases First Draft of Legislative Drafting Guide to Parliament

On September 26, in Manama, CLDP met with the head legal advisors and legal researchers of the Bahrain Parliament to release a draft guide on commercial legislative research. The guide is intended to act as a resource tool for the legal advisors, researchers, and parliament training center staff to promote better institutional understanding and best practices on researching and writing legal memos for Bahrain’s parliament. For the past two years, CLDP has provided technical assistance to the Parliament of Bahrain on a variety of economic and trade-related topics. The guide represents a compilation of those topics, including how to study the economic impact of legislation, trade and value-add tax legislation, and best practices in drafting legislative memos.  The guide also serves as a resource tool and links users with online tools such as the model laws available from the World Trade Organization and UN Commission on International Trade Law. The Parliament of Bahrain greeted the release of the guide with enthusiastic support, with final publication anticipated by December 2018.

September 24, 2018 - September 25, 2018

Bahrain: CLDP Leads Workshop to Implement Procurement Reforms to Promote SMEs

On September 24-25, in Manama, CLDP led a workshop and focus group on government tendering in cooperation with the Bahrain Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOICT), Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain, Bahrain Businesswomen Society and several government contracting agencies. The workshop focused on Bahrain’s recent reforms to promote set-aside programs for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Such programs aim to set aside a set percentage of public contracts to be awarded exclusively to SMEs. The workshop was the fourth meeting led by CLDP and MOICT, and largely focused on electronic procurement mechanisms and online registry to move forward on the pilot program to promote the use of SMEs in public procurement. In implementing the pilot program, MOICT has considered incorporating many of CLDP’s recommendations, including creating a small business oversight body, online registration system, and online advertising platforms that are similar. While the pilot program is expected to be launched in early 2019 for three government agencies, CLDP expects to continue to provide technical assistance on SME procurement reform to help make small business set-aside programs a reality.

April 30, 2018

Bahrain: CLDP Leads Roundtable on New Draft SME Law

On April 30, CLDP led a roundtable and focus group on government tendering in cooperation with Bahrain Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOICT), Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), AmCham Bahrain and several government contracting agencies to discuss the government’s draft procurement amendments to promote set-aside programs for small-and medium size enterprises (SME).  

April 29, 2018 - April 30, 2018

Bahrain: CLDP Organizes Workshop on Case Management for Bahrain Judiciary

From April 29-30, CLDP conducted a workshop in Manama, Bahrain in coordination with Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice, Supreme Judicial Council on case management and electronic court filing with the objective to share best practices from the United States and UAE that are competent, efficient, and transparent. The workshop focused primarily on case management techniques for judges, and also included sessions on how to train clerks and professional civil servants within the judiciary on how to effectively manage cases.