Bahrain has unveiled a new blueprint covering a wide range of development projects and innovative programs designed to accelerate the pace of growth.
His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, announced these measures as he presented plans for the future at the Bahrain Government Forum 2019, a Bahrain News Agency report said.
The programs cover infrastructure projects, social schemes, support to the private sector and development initiatives.
HRH the Crown Prince stressed the importance of advancing government service delivery by enhancing competition and embracing innovation in order to accelerate development, in line with the vision of His Majesty the King.
HRH the Crown Prince noted that development projects that serve citizens, residents, investors, and tourists are foundations for economic success and a key to unlocking the ambitions of the kingdom and its people.
He highlighted the challenges faced by the private sector, noting that despite the positive results yielded by the Kingdom, Bahrain’s economy is influenced by global economic challenges. In this regard, he emphasized that the government continues to support key economic sectors and support their innovation.
On this, he directed the Ministry of Finance and National Economy to coordinate with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce, the Labour Fund ‘Tamkeen’, and national banks to create a BD100 million liquidity fund to restructure corporate financial commitments and further support the growth of innovative activity across key sectors.
The Crown Prince highlighted Bahrain’s most important achievements, the progress of strategic projects, and the results of key economic indicators.
Speaking on the Fiscal Balance Program, which aims to achieve a fiscal balance by 2022, HRH the Crown Prince noted that the initial results were positive. During the first half of 2019, the deficit fell by 38%, non-oil revenues increased by 47%, oil revenues increased by 10%, and expenditure reduced by 14% compared with the same period in 2018. HRH noted, most importantly, that the kingdom has achieved a 50% non-oil growth rate between 2008 and 2018.
HRH the Crown Prince highlighted the progress of the National Employment Program, a program designed to make citizens the first choice of employment, noting that since its launch 3,082 companies from the private sector have contributed to its success. The programme has employed a total of 5,918 Bahrainis and helped Bahrainis working in the private sector to increase their income by 4.3%.
He outlined key development projects supported by the GCC Development Fund and the injection of an additional $5 billion over the coming period, which include:
* Housing units in East Hidd, Khalifa Town, Salman Town and Reclamations of East Sitra;
* A number of main roads
* The development of major water and electricity stations
* Expanding public transportation
* Six new schools
He said the government housing program has completed the delivery of 25,000 housing units and issued directives to expedite the completion of the infrastructure services for these new towns.
He said the Ministry of Housing has allocated a total of 6,000 new units this year and directed the allocation of an additional 3,000 housing units in East Sitra, as well as inviting the private sector to increase their contribution to the Kingdom’s housing delivery process.
HRH the Crown Prince then provided an update on the Kingdom’s key infrastructure projects that aim to support government service delivery and create quality opportunities for citizens. He added that the expansion project of Bahrain International Airport is set to open in the first quarter of 2020.
He highlighted the progress of the Bapco Modernization Program in addition to the progress of the development of Al Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin, in preparation for oil extraction.
He announced the near-completion of the Line 6 Expansion Project of Alba that will make Alba the world’s largest aluminum smelter and further enhance Bahrain’s competitiveness.
TradeArabia News Service