Public and private tie-up ‘reaping rich dividends’

THE partnership between public and private sectors in Bahrain is reaping rich dividends, a top minister has stated.

The successful collaboration has resulted in achieving, and in some cases exceeding, the intended targets, said Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.

He was speaking during a briefing on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay yesterday.

Chief guest at the event, held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, was Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

A number of ministers were present at the briefing.

“We have achieved some of our desired goals towards national sustainability in the best interests of citizens, said Shaikh Salman.

“The economic recovery is on track with 21 out of the Economic Recovery Plan’s 27 programmes already being implemented, as work continues on the rest.”

The plan, announced last year, includes an investment outlay of about $30 billion in projects to drive growth and attract $2.5bn in foreign direct investment (FDI) by next year.

“We completed 10 strategic projects this year and plan to accomplish 11 new projects in 2023.

“We have also attracted more than $800m in investments so far and expect the number to reach more than $1bn, which will be a great achievement considering the current global scenario,” said Shaikh Salman.

He added the economy recovery plan also focused on making Bahrainis the number one choice for employers, developing promising sectors, facilitating commercial procedures and financial sustainability.

Key indicators:

l Total GDP in Q2 2022 witnessed a 6.9 per cent growth, while non-oil sector (GDP) reached 9pc in Q1 (the highest since 2011).

“This indicates a recovery following the pandemic in all sectors with good growth,” said Shaikh Salman.

l A total 20,000 new jobs for Bahrainis annually until 2024, and an annual programme to train 10,000 Bahrainis.

“According to latest figures, more than 24,000 Bahrainis have been employed so far this year and 9,000 citizens trained to be employed in different projects,” said Shaikh Salman.

He also highlighted the increase in wages for Bahrainis in the private sector, from BD210 in 2000 to BD445 in 2020, showing a 112pc rise.

In addition, the number of citizens employed in the private sector increased from 48,252 in 2000 to 98,902 – a jump of 104.9pc.

“The salaries have increased more than double for citizens as we continue to promote quality jobs for Bahrainis in the private sector. l A number of key strategic projects implemented to boost tourism, such as Jumeriah Gulf of Bahrain Resort (launched earlier this week), Vida Marassi Al Bahrain Hotels, Al Dana Amphitheatre, Al Bilaj Al Jazayer (first phase), Exhibition World Bahrain (to open on November 21); the new passenger terminal building (resulting in 127pc increase in the number of visitors), and a comprehensive calendar of events listed on calendar.bh

l Bahrain Fintech Bay attracted more than 120 companies covering 90pc of the capacity; Binance Bahrain received a Category 4 licence as a crypto-asset service provider (CASP) from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), allowing it to offer a full-suite of crypto exchange services in Bahrain; Citigroup opened a technology hub with the aim of creating 1,000 jobs for citizens related to digitalisation and coding in the next decade.

“These steps further cement Bahrain’s position as a financial technology hub and places it among the top countries,” added Shaikh Salman.

l Earlier this year, Bahrain joined Egypt, Jordan and the UAE in a regional bloc that represents the world’s largest combined raw aluminium exporter value of $6.76bn.

The Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Development aims to set up large joint industrial projects and create job opportunities in the partner countries.

“We have set up the Centre for Logistics in Bahrain that is a quick point for trade shift from the ports to planes,” said Shaikh Salman.

l Telecom revenues reached $1bn, and work is ongoing to attract companies for the Bapco Modernisation Programme (BMP), set for completion in 2024. The upgrade will expand Bapco’s 267,000 barrels per day (bpd) current refinery capacity to 380,000bpd.

A special video screened during the briefing highlighted steps taken to work with the private sector including private vehicle inspection centres, medical tests for expats conducted in private medical facilities and the Bahrain Public Transport Company.

Later, different ministers spoke about government plans to work with the private sector.

In his opening remarks, Shaikh Khalid highlighted the importance of PPP as a driving force to the future.

“Bahrain is proud to achieve a real active partnership between the public and private sectors that will benefit citizens, and provide more opportunities,” he said.

As an example he cited the housing sector where private sector continues to play an integral role, helping reduce the waiting time for citizens to find homes.

 

Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1146665/Public-and-private-tie-up---%E2%80%98reaping-rich-dividends%E2%80%99

 

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