The Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), is set to host the second of its Quarterly Business Law Forum for 2023. The forum will take place on the 11th May 2023, at Ritz-Carlton Bahrain. With these forums, the Bahrain EDB aims to establish a platform to facilitate a space for stakeholders and experts to regularly discuss and debate topical issues, learn about the latest development in the realm of business law and assess the need for improving existing laws or the introduction of new laws to improve the ecosystem for doing business in the kingdom.
In view of the Bahrain EDB’s mandate to attract investment opportunities and enhance Bahrain’s investment climate; EDB champions regularly reviewing existing business legislation and establishing dynamic business laws, with a particular focus on addressing potential issues in ICT and priority sectors outlined in the Economic Recovery Plan, as this is considered vital to support the development of a business-friendly environment. Moreover, it helps to enhance the ecosystem to attract investment and further diversify the economy, thereby stimulate economic growth and increase high-value opportunities for employment.
This is the second quarterly forum for this year, the first was held on January 12th, 2023. Among several other topics to be discussed, this forum will focus on knowledge exchange and discussion of digital markets, digital services, and data governance. This focus will be the subject of a presentation titled “Recent EU Digital Services Act, Digital Markets Act and Data Governance Act: Should the GCC be inspired?” delivered by Mr. Dino Wilkinson of Clyde and Co, who’s one of the leading technology lawyers in the region with 20 years of experience and respected contributions to IT, media and telecommunications law. Luca Castellani, Legal Officer in the Secretariat of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) will discuss the most contentious issues in the international sale of goods. The forum will also discuss recent developments in company law and commerce law together with other topical legal issues. The forum will feature other speakers including Noor Radhi, a Deputy Senior Partner at Hassan Radhi and Associates, Izabella Szarkowski, Partner in the Corporate Structuring Team, and finally Jameel Al Alawi, Senior Legal advisor at Bahrain EDB.
In recent years, in line with increasingly global trends, four technology laws were introduced in the Kingdom with the aim of innovating Bahrain’s legislative ecosystem towards a more sustainable future. The first law was the Personal Data Protection Law, which was designed to be another catalyst for the development and growth of Bahrain’s digital economy by governing the processing of personal data. The second law was the Electronic Communications and Transactions Law to regulate the recognition of electronic communication, electronic contracts and electronic trust services. The third law is related to cloud computing services designed to encourage parties located outside Bahrain to use cloud computing data centers located in the Kingdom. The fourth law gives recognition and regulates electronic transferable records. By virtue of this law, Bahrain was the first country in the world to adopt the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Electronic Transferable Records include electronic cheques, bills of exchange, promissory notes, bills of lading, letters of credit and warehouse receipts that are in electronic form.
Commenting on the announcement of the forum, Dr. Jameel Al Alawi, the Senior Legal Advisor at the Bahrain EDB, said: “We in EDB are proud to organize these quarterly business law forums. Through these forums, we hope to build on Bahrain’s pioneering strides towards enriching the business ecosystem, by enabling discussion and debate and providing relevant insights to further elevate Bahrain’s competitiveness on a global map.”