The Middle East & North Africa

November 12, 2018 - November 15, 2018

Iraq: CLDP Supports U.S. Companies Working in Southern Iraq’s Oil and Gas Industry

On November 12-15, 2018, in Abu Dhabi, CLDP supported U.S. Consul General to the Southern Governorates Timothy Davis in reassuring U.S. oil and gas industry representatives of the U.S. government’s commitment to support the development of economic and legal environment in southern Iraq. Recently, the U.S. Department of State made an unprecedented move to close diplomatic and military operations in southern Iraq, due to rising costs and security concerns. The closure severely impacted U.S.-Iraq relations, specifically southern provincial diplomatic engagement.  U.S. companies were concerned that the lack of U.S. presence in Basrah would hamper their operations and future works. In an effort to ease concerns and provide a new economic and diplomatic strategy for U.S. engagement in southern Iraq, CLDP organized a series of meetings for Consul General Davis on the margins of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exposition, the world’s leading conference on oil and gas. Meetings, organized in coordination with the bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Commercial Service in the United Arab Emirates, included Exxon, Chevron, Honeywell UOP, Halliburton, Excelerate Energy, Siemens USA, and other notable engineering, procurement, and construction service providers. In addition to the meetings, CLDP and Consul General Davis are coordinating closely to develop creative ways to sustain engagements with local stakeholders (government and private sector) for the coming year to continue to provide the needed support for U.S. companies working and seeking work in Iraq’s southern governorates.

November 12, 2018 - November 15, 2018

Iraq: CLDP Supports the Ministry of Oil’s First International Exhibit

On November 12-15, 2018, Iraq’s Ministry of Oil exhibited for the first time at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exposition (ADIPEC). The exhibition came as a result of prior CLDP-sponsored programs and consultations provided to the Ministry on the margins of ADIPEC. Exhibiting at ADIPEC provided U.S. companies and Iraqi officials a prime opportunity to partner on projects and investments that are essential to the development of Iraq’s economy. The Ministry of Oil requested CLDP’s support in exhibiting at the upcoming Offshore Technology Conference to be held in May 2019 in Houston, Texas.

November 12, 2018 - November 18, 2018

West Bank: CLDP Contributes to Global Entrepreneurship Week in the West Bank

On November 12-18, CLDP, in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, supported the 6th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), in the West Bank. The GEW is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, driving economic growth and expanding human welfare. GEW is hosted with over 20,000 global partners, across 170 countries, reaching over 10 million people worldwide. In the West Bank, the GEW was hosted by GROWTH Training and Development, a GEW partner, and a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local economic development through entrepreneurship and innovation. GROWTH, in coordination with the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem and CLDP, worked with over 70 local partners to host a series of workshops, forums, and conferences throughout the West Bank. CLDP sponsored the travel of renowned world entrepreneurship experts, Ms. Erin Keeley of Hitachi GST and Mr. Ewan Gaffney of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN UK), to provide keynote remarks and presentations throughout the week. GEW West Bank activities attracted over 70,000 innovators and entrepreneurs, and key stakeholders committed to fostering a prosperous innovation ecosystem.

November 8, 2018 - November 13, 2018

Iraq: ITA and CLDP Support Iraq Franchise Market

On November 10-13, 2018, CLDP, in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, the Department of Commerce Global Franchise Team, and the International Franchise Association (IFA), sponsored a delegation of Iraqi investors and franchisees to the Global Restaurant Leaders Conference (GRLC) in Dubai. The GRLC is an annual event for franchise market executives of food operators and suppliers, providing an exclusive opportunity to network and connect with key industry leaders. CLDP and ITA jointly provided consultations to Iraqi participants and made presentations during the event, highlighting Iraq’s potential markets. The delegation met with IFA leadership as well as executives of major U.S. brand operators. The meetings and consultations have yielded a heightened interest to expand in Iraq, identification of potential partnerships, and initiated preliminary negotiations for key brands. Meetings included Steak ‘n Shake, Domino’s Pizza, PJ’s Coffee, Wingstop, Arby’s, Hardee’s, Krispy Kreme, other Yum Brands, and the Al Shaya Group (master franchisees of several U.S. brands for the Middle East). In an effort to sustain further development of the franchise market, the Iraq delegation plans to establish a local franchise association, in coordination and with support from IFA.

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. 

October 24, 2018 - October 25, 2018

Saudi Arabia: CLDP Co-Organizes Annual Conference for Chief Judges of Administrative Tribunals

On October 24-25, CLDP conducted a conference with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Board of Grievances (BoG) on the importance of transparent and efficient court administration to build trust in the Kingdom’s public procurement system and attract foreign investment. For the first time in its nearly 40-year existence, the BoG invited a non-Saudi entity to organize and lead its annual meeting of chief judges. CLDP developed the agenda for the program and invited several international experts including a U.S. federal judge, a litigator, and a CLDP intermittent expert to deliver presentations. CLDP delivered the initial presentation of the conference on the importance of evaluating tribunals’ performance using tools such as the International Framework for Court Excellence and the World Bank’s Benchmarking Public Procurement methodology, which focus on core principles of integrity, efficiency, transparency and predictability in the adjudicative process. The BoG has exclusive jurisdiction over administrative disputes including procurement decisions made by all government offices. However, the BoG’s decisions are often slow and unpredictable, which greatly reduces competition and confidence in the Kingdom’s procurement process. CLDP’s participation in the conference is part of a multi-phase engagement to improve the Kingdom’s public procurement system.

October 21, 2018 - October 25, 2018

Saudi Arabia: CLDP Conducts Judicial Capacity Building

On October 21-25, CLDP, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA), and the Board of Grievances (BOG), conducted a judicial capacity building programming in Riyadh. Program content focused on court specialization and case management as tools to increase the efficiency and transparency of both commercial and administrative courts in Saudi Arabia. Experts spoke about the importance of predictable and transparent adjudication mechanisms in attracting investment and facilitating business activity, particularly with respect to commercial, insolvency and procurement related cases.  Participating judges came from the BOG, which resolves procurement and other disputes with the government, and from the newly established commercial courts within the MOJ.  These judicial training programs are part of CLDP's effort, led in coordination with the World Bank, to encourage legal reform in Saudi Arabia in line with the Saudi Arabian Vision 2030 economic plan to diversify the country’s economy beyond fossil fuels.  These reforms will also create more opportunities and improve fair legal representation for U.S. companies working with Saudi Arabia. 

October 17, 2018 - October 18, 2018

Saudi Arabia: CLDP Starts ADR Course for Saudi Women Mediators and Arbitrators

On October 17-18, CLDP, in cooperation with the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA), initiated an SCCA-sanctioned alternative dispute resolution (ADR) training course for future female commercial mediation and arbitration lawyers. The ADR course is part of SCCA’s goal to certify up to 60 female mediators and arbitrators to manage cases brought to the SCCA in the coming two years. The ADR Course was envisioned after the successful implementation of a pilot women’s workshop on “Negotiations and Mediation” that was conducted by CLDP in December of 2017. The two-day program engaged participants in a series of intensive ADR simulations guided by an expert from UNCITRAL alongside the region’s top Arab female ADR specialists.

October 14, 2018 - October 18, 2018

Egypt: CLDP Conducts Trade Assessment

From October 14-18, CLDP, in close coordination with the US Embassy in Cairo, conducted a weeklong assessment of technical assistance needs for trade-related issues in the US-Egypt relationship.  CLDP met with NGOs, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the National Food Safety Agency, the Egyptian Customs Authority, the Egyptian Competition Authority, the Egyptian Organization for Standardization and private sector stakeholders such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.  CLDP will provide technical assistance linked closely with the recent US-Egypt Trade and Investment Framework Agreement discussions led by USTR. By early 2019, CLDP plans to begin trade programming on risk-based food safety inspections and better systems for customs valuation.