The Middle East & North Africa

September 12, 2017

CLDP Conducts Roundtable for American Business Group of Riyadh

On September 12, CLDP conducted a commercial law roundtable for the American Business Group of Riyadh (ABGR) legal staff in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. CLDP staff presented to over 20 participants a history of commercial law developments in Saudi Arabia and the region that have improved the environment for doing business for us companies, such as a new arbitration law pasted in 2012. CLDP has worked for over a decade to provide legislative drafting assistance and commercial law implementation programming to reform commercial laws in Saudi Arabia, affecting many commercial sectors such as corporate governance, contract enforcement, intellectual property rights, and insolvency. ABGR members noted improvements in legal practice in Saudi Arabia since CLDP started working in the Kingdom over 10 years ago. For example, members reported that contract enforcement efforts of today are much more hopeful for fair resolution than they were 10 years ago. Participants also said that intellectual property rights enforcement is much more robust now that in the past.

September 11, 2017

CLDP Leads Workshop on Technology Led Economic Development in Bahrain

On September 11, CLDP led a workshop on Technology Led Economic Development in coordination with Tamkeen Enterprises, Bahrain SME Society, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), American Chamber of Commerce, and Bahrain's Economic Development Board.

September 10, 2017 - September 11, 2017

CLDP hosts Arbitration Clause Drafting Seminars

On September 10-11, CLDP conducted 2 one-day seminars at the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) in Riyadh. Enlisting the expertise of international business transaction contracting experts, the seminars focused on best practices in contract drafting, specifically arbitration clauses, and methods to limit transaction confusion and increase certainty in contract dispute resolution that has long been sought after by US and Saudi businesses alike. The program sought to increase the quality and understanding of contracts clauses, increase requisite clarity and certainty, and expedite the resolution of commercial conflicts quickly when they arise, ultimately ensuring greater reliability of contract compliance and enforcement. The program included participants from both the government and private sector legal community interested in enhancing their legal drafting skills.



August 9, 2017 - August 10, 2017

West Bank: CLDP initiates Judicial and Prosecutorial IP Training

On August 9-10, CLDP, at the behest of the US General Consulate in Jerusalem, and in cooperation with the Higher Judicial Council and the Attorney General’s Office, kick started its IP training program for Palestinian judges and prosecutors from the West Bank. CLDP was joined by two U.S. Patent and Trademark Office trademark attorneys, alongside Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. 10 judges and 13 prosecutors participated in the program, representing 10 West Bank governorates, and partook in a series of interactive cases reflecting practical legal issues. The program provided a rare opportunity to gain an understanding of the legal gaps that the current IP law fails to fill, as well as a heightened level of appreciation of how trademark enforcement impacts economic development. The participants were grateful for the unique opportunity of sharing judicial experience with Judge Cote, who provided key judicial insight on how to oversee complicated commercial trademark cases, specifically in the area of designating civil remedies and damages.

On the margins of the workshop, CLDP met with the President of the Higher Judicial Council for the Palestinian Authority to discuss how CLDP can support judicial and prosecutorial legal capacity in the area of IP. The President requested that, as part of its IP work in the West Bank, CLDP propose and implement a yearlong technical assistance plan coordinated with the council. IP enforcement will be key in sustaining foreign investment in franchises, service companies, and new technologies in the West Bank.

August 8, 2017

West Bank: CLDP conducts Franchise Assessment for U.S. Companies

CLDP, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) and International Trade Administration, conducted a series of consultations with current franchise owners, operators, and managers, for the purposes of assessing the legal and commercial franchise environment. In the past several years, the West Bank has focused on supporting prospective Palestinian investors to bring U.S. franchises. Through their efforts, the West Bank has seen a flood of U.S. franchises developing, such as KFC, Hardees, Dominos, and Popeye’s. Such franchises have positively impacted the social and economic welfare of the West Bank, bringing jobs and improved skills to workers as well as quality products and services to consumers.  As consumer demand for U.S. franchises continues to rise, CLDP, in cooperation with FCS, will be working to expand U.S. Franchises to the West Bank. The consultations provided essential insight on the current challenges that franchisors face during operations, specifically on the supply-chain side.  However, despite the obstacles, current Palestinian Franchisees have found creative ways to meet their development plan requirements and have proven that they are reliant entrepreneurs that are hungry to invest in more US franchises. Given that each U.S. franchise operating in the West Bank can provide anywhere from 100 – 3500 jobs, Palestinians are eager to foster consumer demand of U.S. franchises.

August 7, 2017

West Bank: CLDP supports the drafting of a Competition Law

On August 7, CLDP, met with the Palestinian Competition Law Steering Committee to discuss the current draft competition law and identify key areas of technical support that is needed. The Palestinian Authority, through the leadership of the Ministry of National Economy, has spearheaded economic legal reforms that aim to improve the West Bank’s Doing Business ranking. In the past few years, the West Bank, through Presidential Decree, has passed various laws and regulations, included a secured transaction law. The Ministry, through Presidential support, aims to pass a new competition law in order to spur the local economy, develop much needed enterprises, and increase foreign investment. The US General Consulate in Jerusalem requested CLDP to provide direct support to the Ministry and the Steering Committee, so that the draft law can be passed. The meeting was led by the Director General for Competition, alongside members of the Steering Committee, which consists of key stakeholders and representative from the public and private sector. The consultations led to a consensus between the Committee and the Ministry on the goals, objectives, and legal framework of the competition law. The Ministry agreed to send the final draft of the competition law and has requested CLDP to review the draft. In the coming weeks, CLDP will be working with a committee of U.S. and international experts to provide commentary and recommendations on the draft to the Ministry and the Steering Committee.

May 16, 2017 - May 17, 2017

CLDP Leads Workshop on Customs Procedures for Handicraft Exports

CLDP co-hosted a Workshop on Customs Procedures for Facilitating the Export of Handicrafts in Rabat, Morocco from May 16-17, 2017 in coordination with Morocco's Maison de l'Artisan and Ministry for Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts, and Social Economy. 

May 14, 2017 - May 16, 2017

CLDP Conducts Arbitration Clause Drafting Seminar in Kuwait

On May 16, 2017, CLDP conducted a one-day seminar at the Kuwait Commercial Arbitration Center (KCAC) in Kuwait City on best practices in contract drafting, focusing on arbitration clauses. Enlisting the expertise of international business transactions contracting experts, CLDP and KCAC conducted a seminar on methods to limit transaction confusion and increase certainty in contract dispute resolution, which has been long sought after by US and Kuwaiti business alike. Participants in the May 16 program were representative stakeholders from government, the private sector, and legal community professionals interested in enhancing their legal drafting skills, including determining the correct terms in English and Arabic to increase requisite clarity and certainty as well as expedite the resolution of commercial conflicts quickly when they arise. This program will increase the quality and understanding of contracts clauses before business is conducted in the Arabian Peninsula, ensuring greater reliability of contract compliance and enforcement.

May 10, 2017 - May 12, 2017

MENA Regional Program on SME Development and Technology Transfer

From May 10-12, 2017, CLDP held a regional program with participants from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Morocco in Casablanca, Morocco to share best practices in promoting SME development. 

April 30, 2017 - May 5, 2017

Iraq OTC Consultations

Details coming soon.