Bahrain's Economy Resilient

Manama: The present economic realities in the Kingdom are very encouraging, said Economic Development Board (EDB) CEO Khalid Al Rumaihi, adding that more jobs are being created through new investments.

“We are positively surprised at the resilience of the economy. And, we think it is due to diversification undertaken during the last 10 years. 80pc of our economy is in the non-oil sector. We expect to see a growth of 2.5pc to 3pc this year. I am quite positive about the economic growth,” he said.

Continuous monitoring of US$32 billion projects pipeline committed to the Kingdom is among the top priorities for the EDB, Al Rumaihi added.

“We do not want the US$32bn projects to be held up by any reason. The size of these projects is huge and will transform the Kingdom,” he said.

Al Rumaihi was briefing journalists during an EDB hosted Media Ghabga at the Four Seasons hotel 
on Sunday.

“Bahrain is not dependent on oil and the gyrations in oil prices will not be a guiding factor for economic projections. Drop in oil price has been a blessing; it forced all of the Gulf countries to think beyond oil and diversify their economic avenues,” he said.

“Our target is to attract investments primarily for the creation of jobs. From January to May this year, we have achieved about US$110 million investments to the country, creating about 1200 jobs,” he pointed out.

EDB has identified five major sectors in which Bahrain is well positioned to capitalise, namely financial services, manufacturing, logistics, ICT and Tourism. It has set up individual teams to cater to each sector, he added.

“The Saudi vision 2030 is a great opportunity for us,” he noted. “The Gulf region should look at possibilities of complementing each other; this is not a zero sum game. We might see pockets of opportunities emerging as Saudi executes its vision.”

Regarding better branding efforts of Bahrain as a tourism and investment destination, the EDB chief said that focused campaigns will be undertaken and many efforts have been underway with the collaboration of various Ministries. As digital media is extremely popular now, the Kingdom will focus more on using digital space, Al Rumaini noted.

DT News Network