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Bahrain First Country to Enact MLETR

Bahrain First Country to Enact MLETR

Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 - 12:15
Bahrain has become the first country to legislate Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records.
Manama- Obeid Al-Suhaimi
Bahrain enacted on Tuesday Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR), developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), becoming the first country to enact special laws for this type of trading.

The move, according to Bahraini officials, aims to strengthen the country's legislative structure and increase the attractiveness of its economy to foreign investments.

It also comes in the framework of a series of comprehensive legislative reforms aimed at supporting the digital economy in the Gulf market that is worth $1.5 trillion.

In strategic cooperation with the UNCITRAL Secretariat, Bahrain also revised its existing Electronic Transactions Law with new provisions that are aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts and renamed it the Electronic Communications and Transactions Law.

A 2018 economic report, titled “The Cost of Doing Business in the GCC,” affirmed that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Bahrain is considered the most liberalized and competitive in the region with the lowest costs for critical metrics, such as cross-border Internet connectivity.

These new laws are most likely to enhance Manama’s competitiveness on the international level.

“Bahrain continues to lead the way in digital reforms,” said Khalid al-Rumaihi, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).

“The latest achievement of being the first country in the world to adopt the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records gives us an unrivaled advantage in the GCC region.”

The new laws are a key step forward in achieving Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, he added.

“We are confident that the new legislation will revolutionize the way we do business, develop talent and create a sustainable trading environment,” Rumaihi stressed.

Secretary of Working Group IV (Electronic Commerce) of the UNCITRAL Luca Castellani, for his part, said that Bahrain is “the first country in the world to enact the MLETR, which establishes a modern legislative framework for a digital-first economy by legally enabling, for example, the use of blockchain in fintech and logistics.”

“The adoption of UNCITRAL texts, including the incorporation of additional provisions in the revised Electronic Transactions Law, helps to create confidence among overseas traders and investors.”

“Bahrain is committed to upholding modern commercial law standards and is at the forefront of innovation and business-friendliness,” Castellani said.

Notably, Bahrain EDB’s investments reached $830 million in 2018 and at a rate exceeding 13 percent compared to 2017, making it one of the region’s fastest-growing economies.

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