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.”


Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Updated 09 July 2020

Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Outstanding students, tutors and colleges from 25 countries, including from the Middle East, saw their achievements recognized at the BTEC Awards 2020 ceremony, held online for the first time due to coronavirus.

Hosted by presenter of the United Stand, YouTube influencer and BTEC ambassador, Flex, 17 category award winners were celebrated from the UAE and around the Middle East as well as internationally in subjects such as health and social care, performing arts, engineering, IT, business and sport.

Double Olympic gold medalist Max Whitlock and architect, TV presenter and campaigner George Clarke were among those presenting awards. 

They were joined by journalist and TV presenter Steph McGovern who spoke about her passion for vocational education and the BTEC Awards.

Spanning across 21 categories, the awards showcase the exceptional BTEC learners and teachers that have been nominated to win a gold, silver or bronze BTEC award. Accepted in more than 200 universities worldwide, BTEC is a highly regarded, career-focused qualification, studied in over 60 countries.

The Middle East winners are:

• BTEC Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Student of the Year Silver Winner — Finn Page, DESC, UAE

• BTEC Teacher of the Year (schools only) Bronze Winner — James McBlane, British School Al-Khubairat, UAE

• BTEC IT and Computing Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Sangeetha Philip, Cambridge International School, Dubai, UAE

• BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Delma Sharyl D’Silva, The Winchester School — Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE

Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice president, BTEC and apprenticeships at Pearson Education, said: “This year I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of BTEC Award nominations we received, and I am delighted to celebrate this year’s winners and the achievements of all learners who will be awarded a BTEC this year. 

Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve seen how the current pandemic has highlighted the critical role of key workers and individuals who are likely to have followed a vocational educational pathway such as BTEC.”

In the UAE, BTEC qualifications are available in sectors including applied science, art and design, business, childcare, construction, engineering, media, health and social care, hospitality, ICT, performing arts, public services, sport, travel and tourism.

Pearson has been delivering BTEC qualifications worldwide since 1984. A recent study revealed that 90 percent of BTEC students are employed full-time after graduating.

Globally, nearly 1 million students studied toward a BTEC in the past year, via 784 approved BTEC centers in 60 countries.

In response to new careers emerging within industries and ongoing change, Pearson is continually adapting and innovating its BTEC curriculum and learning to ensure it is relevant for young people and adults, supporting progression and career aspirations throughout lives.