Bahrain becomes 1st country in MENA to ratify key UN treaty

Khalid Humaidan, CEO of Bahrain Economic Development Board.
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Updated 16 June 2020

Bahrain becomes 1st country in MENA to ratify key UN treaty

Bahrain has become the first country in MENA to ratify a key UN convention on electronic communications, helping to enable a new wave of digital business across the region and enhance investor protections.

The UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (2005) aims to enhance commercial certainty by ensuring that contracts concluded and other communications exchanged electronically are as valid and enforceable as their traditional paper-based equivalents and by introducing specific principles surrounding the use of technology during signing processes. This will enter into force for Bahrain on Jan. 1, 2021.

The principles of the treaty include defining terminology such as “writing” and “signature” so that all parties are legally protected when entering into a contract. The convention also aims to remove legal obstacles in the use of electronic communications in enacting previous treaties that were first created before the widespread use of modern technology.

Bahrain became the 14th country globally to join the treaty, alongside major economies such as Singapore and Russia. Countries that have signed, but not yet ratified, the convention include China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

It comes after Bahrain made history in November 2018 by becoming the first nation to enact legislation based on the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) e-commerce model laws. The move was part of a series of sweeping reforms aimed at bolstering the digital readiness of the GGC region’s $1.5 trillion economy.

Khalid Humaidan, chief executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “To build a truly digital economy in the GCC, it is essential that our regulation keeps pace with the latest developments — particularly at a time when more and more business is being conducted in the virtual realm.

“Bahrain is leading the way on tech-driven reforms and is committed to supporting the needs of entrepreneurs and investors as they work to build long-term growth in our thriving e-commerce landscape.”

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the UN as we stay on the cutting edge of legislative developments.”


Cartier looks ahead to sparkling future in KSA

Updated 22 September 2020

Cartier looks ahead to sparkling future in KSA

RIYADH: As the Kingdom prepares to celebrate the 90th Saudi National Day this Wednesday, businesses — big and small — are taking part in the festivities with gusto. But few companies can put forward what international jewelry brand Cartier has prepared.

Saudi Arabia is a key market for the brand, and the company has been celebrating its National Day for three years now. This year, the celebrations are some of their most elaborate yet.

Cartier’s managing director for Saudi Arabia, Kalid Lanssari, said the brand unveiled a new film capsule featuring Cartier’s emblematic panther lighting up Al-Faisaliah Tower in green. Cartier is also offering all guests and clients across its boutiques a special treatment to celebrate the day and make a deeper connection with them.

“Doors have already been open to all guests in our new flagship boutique in Al-Faisaliah Tower since Sept. 15. This boutique offers clients a new elevated experience through exclusive salons and a best-in-class service,” Lanssari said.

The year 2020 has been a tough year for businesses in general, given the ongoing global pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, and even an international brand such as Cartier could not escape unscathed.

“Like most brands in the industry, we suffered major drawbacks because of the pandemic. With the beginning of lockdown and the closing of our boutiques, business was hugely affected. We, however, were agile and quickly launched phone sales and home delivery services to try and compensate for the boutiques’ closure and the lack of e-commerce services. On the more positive side, the appetite of people for timeless luxury has remained and that helped the business bounce back very quickly,” said Lanssari.

He said Cartier had gone through a thorough sanitization process and taken other precautions to ensure the safety of its customers and staff.

“We’ve learned that brands need to be agile and adopt a seamless omni-channel approach. We have accelerated our e-commerce project to offer clients a new channel to purchase our collections online while continuing to offer the best in-boutique experience,” he added.

According to Lanssari, this is only the beginning for Cartier in Saudi Arabia.

“We plan to accompany the Kingdom in its trajectory of transformation through close collaborations, business expansion, cultural events and more. In the last three years, we have discovered and developed many amazing Saudi talents that are now part of the Cartier family and will continue to grow these talents in the future. This region has always inspired us and will continue to be a rich source of inspiration for years to come,” he said.