The Middle East & North Africa

March 10, 2020 - March 14, 2020

Middle East, South Asia and Eastern Europe: CLDP Conducts 10th Annual Pre-Moot Competition

Amidst the global impact of the coronavirus, the Annual Willem C. Vis Moot in Vienna and Hong Kong was cancelled. More than 400 teams from over 80 countries had anticipated to compete in the premier program this April. In response, on March 10-14, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CLDP, in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for International Legal Education and the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution, successfully converted the 10th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot into a virtual Vis Pre-Moot. The virtual pre-moot was the first to showcase a virtual program that was able to connect participants from around the globe simultaneously, overcoming technical obstacles that could impede connections. Additionally, CLDP and its partners developed virtual tools that improved mooting practices, such as virtual moot rules, automatic scoring, and electronic grade submissions. The pre-moot program provided a series of live sessions, recorded lectures, interactive virtual breakout sessions, and practice rounds. The highlight of the 5-day virtual program was a two-day competition, consisting of general rounds and elimination rounds, along with a “virtual gala.” The winner of the event was the Royal University of Colombo. More than 100 attorneys from around the globe volunteered their time to serve as advisors and arbitrators. The Vienna organizers have now called on CLDP to assist them in converting this year’s global moot into a virtual event. CLDP will now be working closely to support the Moot organizers in Vienna next month in designing and implementing the global event so as to enable the 400+ registered teams to submit their required oral arguments for competition. For more information, please visit: http://premoot.bcdr-aaa.org/.

February 13, 2020 - February 14, 2020

Morocco: CLDP Conducts Workshop on Combatting Anti-Competitive Practices in Procurement

On February 13-14, in cooperation with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the National Committee for Public Procurement and the Moroccan Competition Council, CLDP conducted a two-day workshop on best practices in investigating and prosecuting bid-rigging and other anti-competitive practices in public tenders. While Morocco has made significant efforts to ensure open competition in its public procurement system, significant challenges still remain, including the prevalence of bid-rigging, cartels and other anti-competitive practices by companies, which often prevents US and foreign companies from being able to receive contracts. Recent legislation has also empowered Morocco’s Competition Council, which is tasked with investigative anti-competitive practices and has been empowered to levy fines against companies. However, these developments have raised jurisdictional questions within the Moroccan legal framework, which were discussed at length during the workshop to ensure coordination and cooperation between Morocco’s relevant authorities to efficiently and transparently investigate and prosecute anti-competitive workshops. This week’s workshop was organized as part of CLDP’s broader programming effort to increase transparency and competition in Morocco’s public procurement system and included sessions led by prosecutors from the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. 

January 13, 2020 - January 18, 2020

Morocco: CLDP Provides Technical Support for Handicraft Exports

On January 13-18, 2020, in Marrakech, CLDP led a series of activities focusing on increasing handicraft exports. The first activity involved an assessment of the largest handicraft exposition. In addition, CLDP led a workshop on streamlining handicraft exports and launched the new Handicraft Export Guide. Second only to agriculture in terms of employment, the handicraft sector in Morocco is essential for income distribution and job growth across socio-economic levels, particularly for women, and is an important factor in maintaining social and political stability.

December 12, 2019 - December 14, 2019

Egypt: Port Customs Valuation

CLDP conducted a workshop on customs valuation in Safaga, Egypt December 12-14, 2019. This complements a similar workshop that took place in the ports of Alexandria and Said in August 2019.

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December 12, 2019

Bahrain Innovation and Technology Center Capacity Building Training

On December 12, in Manama, Bahrain, CLDP held a workshop focused on technology transfer for representatives from government, academia, and the startup community. 

December 11, 2019 - December 13, 2019

Morocco: CLDP Organizes Workshop on Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property

On December 11-13, CLDP, in collaboration with the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, held a workshop on technology transfer and intellectual property in Casablanca, Morocco. The U.S. Consul General in Casablanca provided opening remarks. The workshop was attended by 40 participants representing different techno-parks across Morocco and Spain, research institutions and government agencies and included a lively discussion on how to best strengthen the capacity of technology transfer stakeholders to manage intellectual property rights. This workshop was a continuation of a follow-on to a session held this past April in Fes, as part of ongoing engagement which aims to promote technology-based entrepreneurship, strengthen intellectual property rights and improve the business environment in Morocco. 

December 9, 2019

Saudi Arabia: CLDP Conducts Foreign Investment Seminar

On December 9, 2019, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, CLDP presented a seminar on commercial law reforms that would attract foreign investment and promote innovation in the Saudi Arabian economy. Representatives from the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority, the National Center for Privatization and Public Private Partnerships, and the Ministry of Commerce and Investment attended. Participants heard from international and local legal experts who recommended the legal changes necessary to reach the foreign investment goals set out in the Saudi Vision 2030 economic plan. Presentations focused on laws related to trade, privatization, and public private partnerships. These recommended reforms would result in significant opportunities for U.S. companies to access the Saudi market

November 13, 2019 - November 14, 2019

Morocco: CLDP Workshop Assists Stakeholders Implement New Bankruptcy Law

On November 13-14 , CLDP conducted a workshop in Casablanca, Morocco on the implementation of Morocco’s new bankruptcy law, which was passed last year. Prior to the passing of the new law, bankruptcy had presented a significant legal risk for US companies and investors doing business in Morocco as the legal framework lacked sufficient protections and predictability for creditors investing in Moroccan companies. The workshop, which is part of CLDP’s multi-phase bankruptcy programming, focused on the restructuring mechanism and the role of each stakeholder in maximizing the chances of success for failing companies. The workshop faculty included two US Federal Bankruptcy judges from New York and Maryland, in addition to two bankruptcy practitioners from the US and the UK. Through interactive sessions, the workshop faculty presented US and UK best practices in the restructuring of failing businesses, the critical elements to a successful restructuring process and lessons learned from bankruptcy cases. Attended by Moroccan public prosecutors, judges, trustees and lawyers, the workshop also served as a unique opportunity for stakeholders to exchange experiences and concerns about the implementation of the new law and identify areas for improvement. CLDP has been working in Morocco for the last several years to incorporate US and international best practices in the new Moroccan bankruptcy law and to train government and private sector stakeholders on the new procedures that will help protect creditor rights.

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October 23, 2019 - October 24, 2019

Tunisia: CLDP Holds Cross-Border eCommerce Workshop

On October 23-24 in Tunis, Tunisia, CLDP held a workshop to identify potential changes to Tunisian law that would encourage increased cross-border eCommerce transactions for both exports and imports. Over 40 representatives from several government ministries, the private sector, and the NGO community discussed potential amendments to Tunisia’s eCommerce law, customs procedures, central bank currency and payment rules, and other matters.  The participants offered sets of informal recommendations for further action.

ECommerce in Tunisia has not reached its full potential, although there are black market eCommerce websites. Legal changes could help Tunisian SMEs and individuals reach new markets, while also providing opportunities for US sellers.