The Middle East & North Africa

Since 1998, CLDP has worked to foster greater political stability through economic development in the Middle East and North Africa.  By supporting the development of laws and practices fostering trade liberalization, economic diversification, and entrepreneurship, CLDP aims to encourage economic growth in the Middle East. Through our work with the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), CLDP has connected U.S. Government experts and private-sector experts with their counterparts throughout the region to provide technical assistance and training on a range of commercial and legal issues. CLDP currently has programs in Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, KuwaitMorocco, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. Please click here to learn about CLDP's results in the Middle East and North Africa.

North Africa

Work in North Africa began in 2000 under the U.S. – North Africa Economic Partnership (USNAEP).  CLDP embarked on a program to assist the governments of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia with the formation and reinforcement of trade policies that support the development of a market-based economy in order to promote trade and investment. This training led to more liberalized trade in the region and supported major U.s. strategic objectives for the region: acceleration of private sector-led, export-oriented economic growth. CLDP’s activities in North Africa continue today through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the U.S. Department of State to encourage economic innovation and entrepreneurship and create business environments that foster investment, business creation, and employment. 


Goal: In support of the Government of Algeria’s goal of fostering a legal environment conducive to entrepreneurship and the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), CLDP is working to build the capacity of the public and private sectors to support business and job creation through technology transfer and through the development of the franchising sector. 

Program Areas:

  • Facilitate the formation of franchises through awareness-raising and through the development of a legal and institutional framework for the franchise sector
  • Create an innovation and entrepreneurhsip ecosystem through the effective use of technology transfer offices and business incubation


Goal: In support of the Government of Morocco’s goals to encourage business creation and entrepreneurship, CLDP has been building the capacity of relevant local stakeholders to improve business registration procedures, support insolvency reform, improve contract enforcement, and foster the development of its handicraft and technology sectors.

Program Areas:

  • Assistance to the Government of Morocco in developing harmonized best practices for creating and registering businesses
  • Provide capacity building and peer-to-peer best practices training for government, business, and civil society stakeholders to effect insolvency law reform    
  • Provide capacity building for the judiciary to promptly, fairly, and predictably, adjudicate resolve contractual disputes and encourage alternative dispute resolution to resolve contractual disputes
  • Build the capacity of the government and private sector to facilitate SME participation in handicraft exports
  • Assist the Moroccan government in supporting an effective operational framework that is conducive to technology transfer.


Goal: In support of the Government of Tunisia’s goals, CLDP is focusing on helping the country develop entrepreneurship and a knowledge-based economy.

Program Areas:

  • Training on intellectual property and licensing for both the private and the public sector to spur entrepreneurship.
  • Assistance with the continued development of a legal and institutional framework for franchising and encouraging best practices in franchising
  • Administrative capacity to manage technology transfer offices and incubators and create an innovation ecosystem in Tunisia.
  • Training on best practices in public procurement, including e-procurement, acquisition planning, model procurement laws, competition and SME promotion, and auditing.
  • Building the capacity of the government and private sector to facilitate SME participation in handicraft exports


The Middle East

By supporting the development of laws and practices that support trade liberalization, economic diversification and entrepreneurship, CLDP works to improve economic conditions in the Middle East.  Through our work with the US Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and USAID, we have connected US Government experts with governments throughout the region to provide technical assistance and training on a range of commercial issues.


Goal:  In support of Bahrain’s interest in increasing international trade and entrepreneurship, CLDP advises the government on the development of commercial laws and practices that facilitate trade and small enterprise growth.  

Program Areas:

  • Revisions of the Bahrain Commercial Code to support entrepreneurship-friendly lending and insolvency law. 
  • Supporting the development of an Advanced Ruling Office in compliance with US-Bahrain FTA.
  • Regional international commercial arbitration moot competition for law students.
  • Supporting the international commercial arbitration moot team at Bahrain University.
  • Judicial capacity building regarding insolvency and e-commerce law.


Goal: In support of the Government of Iraq’s goal of fostering a legal environment conducive to economic diversification and private sector growth, CLDP has been working collaboratively with other USG experts to build legal capacity within Iraqi government ministries.

Program Areas:

  • Legislative capacity to draft modern commercial law to support the growth of small and medium enterprises.
  • Ministerial capacity to train commercial attaches and commercial officers in the core competencies required to promote trade with Iraq.
  • Legal capacity for Iraqi State Owned Enterprises to enter into strategic partnerships with foreign companies.
  • Administrative capacity to manage technology transfer and encourage innovation with Iraqi research institutions.
  • Legal capacity of provincial governments to promote private sector growth as part of Iraq’s decentralization of governing powers.


Goal: CLDP's programming in Jordan strives to assist the Government of Jordan in increasing international trade liberalization through criteria capacity building in bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, including the development of product and service standards based on International best practices.  CLDP also supports the development of best practices in international trade and business practices in Jordan.  

Program Areas:

  • International product and service development standards consultations and workshops.
  • Government official and judicial capacity building to support best practices in international business transactions and commercial dispute resolution. 


Goal:  In support of Kuwait raising the capacity of lawyers and judges to adjudicate complex commercial transactions, CLDP works to provide international commercial law expertise to legal education programs in Kuwait.

Program Areas:

  • Development of international commercial arbitration moot team at Kuwait University School of Law.
  • Judicial capacity building regarding insolvency and restructuring management.


Goal:  In support of improving the resolution of commercial contract disputes in Saudi Arabia, CLDP organizes educational opportunities and consultative exchanges for judges from Saudi Arabia.

Program Areas: 

  • Commercial law regional conferences for judges from the Arabian Peninsula to share best practices and harmonize systems.
  • Commercial law consultations in US and Saudi Arabia for judges to exchange judicial teaching methodologies.

CLDP in Action

March 10, 2020 - March 14, 2020

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: