Companies and other organizations doing business in the UAE or with enterprises owned in part by a UAE Government party at any level (e.g., the federal/union government or a government of one of the country's constituent emirates (e.g., Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al Khaimah), or entities owned in part by any of them, should be aware that under UAE law, the definition of "public official" (i.e., a government official) includes employees and directors of enterprises in which a UAE Government party holds less than a majority ownership stake and does not, formally or effectively, exercise control.
The dismantling of Obama-era laws and regulations, broader deregulation, and economic and political nationalism were and remain themes of the 2016 U.S. Election and presidential transition period. Donald Trump and members of the incoming Republican-controlled Congress have singled out for repeal or significant modification the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, along with trade, immigration, foreign affairs, and environmental laws, regulations, and policies. If taken, these actions will not only effect legal changes in specific areas, they will create legal and policy voids that may be filled by U.S. states and localities, foreign governments and multilateral and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Five legal and business issues and dynamics to watch in 2017 are highlighted here.
Traditionally businesses have looked to contractual terms, industry groups, legislatures, regulators and other conventional authorities to identify and manage commercial, legal, and compliance requirements and risks. In today’s interconnected, information rich, and reputation-conscious business world, this model is outdated and insufficient. It creates blind spots that can expose businesses to commercial, legal, and compliance risks from sources that traditional models ignore, misunderstand, or underestimate. In the same ways that the internet and social media have enabled non- “establishment” actors to communicate and amplify political messages, these and other tools of the information/new media age have enabled non-traditional actors to effectively influence business conduct standards. As a result, constituencies and issues that not so long ago were marginal or viewed as niche or inconsequential are now relevant, and for some businesses and industries they are integral.
Like some emerging economy countries, some EMEs that have had prior success and are financially strong are, at the enterprise level, in transitional phases. These EMEs:(1) are facing changing global and local economic and operating conditions; (2) have newfound global visibility that invites greater public scrutiny; (3) have strategic, next level goals; and, (4) must navigate established and evolving standards of business conduct that are being set and enforced by diverse external constituencies and growing more material to the bottom line. To adapt to changing conditions and advance their objectives efficiently—i.e., by proactively limiting reputational, commercial, legal and other risks and costs and capitalizing on opportunities that favor well-governed enterprises—these EMEs need not just strong governance, but entrepreneurial governance.
This update briefly discusses aspects of the FAO-OECD Guidance for Responsible Investment in Agricultural Supply Chains (the “Guidance”), which is open for public comment through February 20, 2015. Among other things, the Guidance proposes a risk-based due diligence approach for adoption by enterprises engaged in the agricultural supply chain. Elements of the risk-based due diligence approach are outlined (with some comment) below, followed by considerations for sovereign and private investors, food-agri companies, and finance providers (e.g., commercial banks).