The Middle East & North Africa

April 28, 2017 - April 30, 2017

CLDP Sponsors Moroccan Delegation at Tunis Handicraft Expo

CLDP sponsored a three-member Moroccan delegation to attend the Tunis Handicraft Expo from April 28-30, 2017 in Tunis, Tunisia.

April 24, 2017 - April 27, 2017

CLDP Begins Program with Palestinian Authority

CLDP Chief Counsel Stephen Gardner and Attorney Advisor Mais Abousy travelled to Jerusalem and Ramallah on April 24-27 to begin implementation of CLDP’s new program with the Palestinian Authority. The initial areas identified under the interagency agreement with the State Department call for work on competition and intellectual property. CLDP also expects to sign another agreement soon that will cover franchising. With excellent support from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Consulate General in Jerusalem, CLDP met with senior government officials and private sector leaders to begin designing programs that will improve economic conditions and support a better business environment in the West Bank. Minister of National Economy Odeh and Attorney General Barak both showed enthusiasm about working with CLDP, and said they would welcome CLDP experts to build capacity, help refine legislative drafts and enhance the regulations to implement various laws. In the first week of May, CLDP will join a Commerce briefing for Ambassador Friedman to tell him about last week’s assessment trip, the planned activities and other possible areas for cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.

April 24, 2017 - April 27, 2017

MENA: CLDP Organizes Regional Workshop to Support Specialized Business Courts II

MENA: CLDP Organizes Regional Conference on Effective Business Courts

From April 24-27 in Tunis, Tunisia, CLDP conducted a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional workshop, co-sponsored by the Tunisian Ministry of Justice, on best practices in improving the competence, efficiency, and transparency of specialized business courts. The event focused on the procedural and substantive elements of contract enforcement, including case management, admissibility of electronic evidence, application of international treaties, and publication of court decisions. The workshop also highlighted the importance of ensuring efficient service of process and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.

The program featured Judge Kevin Castel of the Southern District of New York, as well as expert-advisors from the UAE and Tunisia. Participants included judges and court administrators from Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia, who shared best practices and solutions for the problems faced by judges in the commercial litigation field. The workshop also included a panel of attorneys who provided the private sector’s perspective and offered practical solutions. At the conclusion of the program, each delegation identified several procedural and substantive reforms that will be proposed to their respective judicial administrators, governments, and/or legislatures. This workshop is part of CLDP’s multiphase contract enforcement program to assist MENA countries in improving efficiency, predictability, and transparency in the adjudication of commercial disputes

April 6, 2017 - April 13, 2017

CLDP to sponsor Middle East Law Schools to compete in the 24th Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

On April 6-13,2017, CLDP sponsored three Middle East law schools: Iraqyia College of Law of Iraq, Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis, and University of Jordan to participate in the 24th Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vis Moot) in Vienna, Austria. 

April 3, 2017 - April 8, 2017

CLDP Leads Course on Technology Transfer, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

CLDP and the Division for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer (CRIA) of the University of Algarve organized a Program on Developing Entrepreneurship and Supporting Innovation Ecosystems in Algeria and Morocco in Faro, Portugal from April 3-8, 2017.

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 21, 2017 - March 22, 2017

CLDP Organizes Workshop on Handicraft Exports in Morocco

CLDP co-hosted a Workshop on Facilitating the Export of Handicrafts in Rabat, Morocco from March 21-22, 2017, in coordination with Morocco's Maison de l'Artisan. 

March 17, 2017 - March 19, 2017

CLDP Organizes Workshop on Franchising and Franchise Expo Visit

CLDP hosted a delegation of franchising stakeholders from Algeria and Tunisia, including government officials and private-sector representatives, in Paris, France from March 17-19, 2017, for a workshop and expo visit focused on international franchising.

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.