I recently read a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warning about the depletion of Bahrain’s wealth in the year 2024, that is, after less than three years. At the same time, I saw with my own eyes, during our recent visit to Italy, accompanied by His Highness the Crown Prince, how the “Bahrain team” works to sustain growth in this country for the next 30 years at least.
This report was issued as I was speaking with a number of members of the “Bahrain Team” in our last visit to Italy and listened with great interest to their efforts to implement far-reaching economic strategies. They are determined to increase the pace of growth in all vital sectors and to enhance the competitiveness of the Kingdom of Bahrain regionally and internationally, while investing in all potentials and resources to diversify the base of the national economy, develop the business environment, attract direct investments and maintain sustainable development.
The data issued by the IMF itself confirms that the real GDP growth of Bahrain reached two per cent during the past year and that the non-oil economic sector achieved a growth rate of 2.2pc in the same period. This is further supported by a remarkable recovery in several sectors including financial services and manufacturing. The oil and gas sector grew at a rate of 1pc, in parallel with the implementation of the financial balance programme initiatives and the initiatives to promote economic diversification in Bahrain within the framework of its Economic Vision 2030 through growth in the non-oil sectors.
This confirms once again that the “Bahrain Team” puts the welfare of citizens as a compass to guide their work, and all their initiatives are aimed at creating more promising quality opportunities for all citizens.
I do not advocate completely ignoring the IMF’s recommendations as we do need to diversify our economy and reduce our dependence on oil; but I stress the importance of not panicking with regard to our actions, investments and the future of our children. The whole world is experiencing instability, and there are no exceptions to it – not even China, Turkey, the European Union or the USA. In comparison, the Gulf countries, including Bahrain, are still some of the most attractive places for business and investment.
But I invite, and even stress, the importance of believing in the “Bahrain team”. When I look at the youth in the “Bahrain team” I see the future of Bahrain, as prosperous and stable, keeping pace with the march of global progress and development. I see that this team has a distinguished mechanism for attracting truly distinguished Bahraini youth, honing their talents, building their capabilities and integrating them into the national vision for development, so that this team becomes a factory for Bahraini leaders who are able to take over various aspects of government work and upgrade its institutions.
There are many words that are synonymous with ‘teamwork’, these include harmony and homogeneity, and this is what is evident in the “Bahrain team”. Everyone is part of the same compound and the captain defines the destination and everyone is committed towards it. What distinguishes this compound is that it is dynamic, ready to change direction by changing the goal within their global vision. And when that ‘global attention’ is directed towards digital technology, cloud computing, genome or space industry, they are ready to create an environment conducive to bringing these advanced global experiences to Bahrain.
The largest painting I keep in a prominent place in my office is of a group of musicians performing what appears to be a lively melody in great harmony, each of them plays a certain instrument, with one eye on the musical notes and the other eye on the conductor who leads them with enthusiasm and expertise.