Six sectors to lead economic growth

A PLAN to prioritise six sectors has been set up as part of a recovery plan aiming to support annual economic growth of five per cent in the non-oil sector by 2022.

The strategies will be implemented across oil and gas, tourism and logistics, financial services, telecommunications, IT and digital economy and the manufacturing sector.

This was announced by Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, who also revealed a fiscal balance programme update featuring eight new reform work-streams.

They are reducing recurrent non-manpower expenditure, reducing project spend, reducing manpower expenditure, streamlining the distribution of cash subsidies to citizens, increasing government-owned entities’ annual contributions, adjusting commodities prices and prices of services provided to companies, introducing new Government services revenue initiatives and a value-added-tax increase to 10pc.

“The programme seeks to balance Bahrain’s budget by 2024, compared to the pre-Covid-19 target of 2022,” said Shaikh Salman at the Gudaibiya Palace Press conference. “The priority of developing these promising sectors aims to grow non-oil GDP by 5pc in 2022.

“Through this priority, the development of the oil and gas sector is sought by completing major projects such as the expansion of the Bapco refinery, activating the LNG platform for importing liquefied gas, completing the construction of 22 new fuel stations, completing the construction of fuel tanks and following up on the development of oil and gas resources such as the Khaleej Al Bahrain oil field.”

He also briefed members of the media on the strategy for the development of the tourism sector based on four initiatives - facilitating entry, tourist attractions, marketing /promotion and accommodation.

The aim is to raise the level of tourism indicators such as tourist spending to BD2bn, extending the average stay of tourist stop-overs to 3.5 nights and increasing the number of tourists to 14.1 million.

“In the logistics sector, the strategy aims to raise the amount of freight at the port to one million containers, and at the airport to one million metric tons by 2030, and to increase the number of air destinations to more than 70 by 2025.

“The aim is to make Bahrain among the top three regional countries and 20 countries globally.”

He said a 10-year contract has been signed with the global shipping company FedEx Express to operate 9,000sqm in the express air freight area in October 2021, in addition to launching a global service centre for sea-air freight in September 2021.

Transport

“This contributes to transporting the shipment between the land and sea ports in just two hours,” he added.

He added that the new package has been developed to ensure financial balance and is divided into two parts – one by reducing operating expenses in government agencies and the other by working on the development of non-oil revenues.

“This will be done by increasing the contribution of government-owned companies from 2023, reviewing the prices of goods and services provided to companies, developing non-oil government revenues, in addition to introducing 10pc value added tax (VAT) starting from January 1,” he added.

“This is after the approval of the legislative authority, while ensuring that the 94 basic food commodities are exempted from VAT, in addition to more than 1,800 government services.”

 

Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/991898/Six-sectors-to-lead-economic-growth

 

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