Bahrain's economy is projected to witness a real growth of three per cent this year with non-oil sectors contributing a bigger share.

Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa told MPs that the country had witnessed a real growth of 3pc last year as well, after registering 5.1pc growth in 2022 as businesses opened up after the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that inflation rates have stabilised after rising by 0.2pc between January and November last year.

“Non-oil sectors are witnessing a boom with contribution reaching up to 83.6pc of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter of last year,” Shaikh Salman said.

“Banking continued topping the non-oil sector with 18.1pc (contribution to the GDP) for the fourth consecutive year,” he added.

“Bahrain last month joined Morocco, the UAE, Jordan and Egypt in an integrated industrial partnership for sustainable economic development, which aims to secure export channels and investment opportunities.

“Five joint projects worth $2.2 billion have been signed between all five nations and this will have a significant outcome on the growth of non-oil sectors.”

The minister further added that accumulative foreign investment until the end of the third quarter of last year had gone up to BD15.9bn, an increase of 19.4pc compared to the same period in 2022.

Bahrain has also improved its ranking on numerous indexes worldwide.

“The country continued to be the freest economy in the Arab World by the end of 2023 while it topped the Middle East as the freest in finance, commerce and investment,” he said.

The kingdom has gone five steps up to become the 25th internationally competitive nation in rankings published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

“We also moved 25 positions to reach 34th spot in the World Bank’s 2023 logistics index,” he added.

He said Bahrain has been surging ahead in other indexes as well with the country ranked 27th globally in the IMD World Talent list.

“The kingdom has gone up five spots in the new talent ranking under the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (Insead),” he said.

Shaikh Salman was responding to a question by Parliament’s second deputy speaker Ahmed Qarata on moves to diversify, improve and stabilise the economy.

“All concerned parties are committed to achieve the set economic recovery goals and targets that place Bahrainis as the first choice of employment in the private sector, ease commercial procedures, carry out major developmental projects, develop promising sectors and enhance financial sustainability,” said Shaikh Salman.

“We approach challenges, hurdles and problems with multiple mechanisms, procedures and measures that lead to the introduction of initiatives and programmes to limit the negative impact and maintain strength,” he added.

“The government always steps in to balance the economy – whether it is the $4.5bn rescue package during the pandemic or the economic recovery initiatives announced post Covid.

“We build our plans on economic and local indicators and through a balanced approach, we take up every available opportunity that enables growth and development.”

His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, last week asserted that the next phase of development requires the initiation of plans and strategies that ensure Bahrain’s economy continues to grow steadily to reach the desired goals.

This followed his directives at the Cabinet session to formulate Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2050 and ensure it reflected the ambitions and aspirations of all members of society.

He stressed the importance of incorporating the needs of the legislative authority, the private sector, and professional and civil society institutions in setting the vision for Bahrain, adding that these entities will have a role in formulating the 2050 roadmap, which must be completed and launched before the end of this year.

HRH Prince Salman commended the efforts of various sectors that achieved the goals of the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and the Economic Recovery Plan, indicating the importance of evaluations and continuation of efforts to implement the vision’s ultimate goals.

He highlighted the principles of the National Action Charter as a basis for the kingdom’s developments, led by His Majesty King Hamad.

He stressed Bahraini economy’s solid foundation that must be utilised to increase economic diversification through the contributions of non-oil sectors and by enhancing competitiveness in attracting global investments in priority sectors, which will contribute to greater progress.


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