Manama: Bahrain’s efforts to revitalise the national economy, bolster growth rate and reduce unemployment were highlighted at a key meeting last night.
The annual joint meeting of Arab financial institutions opened yesterday in Bahrain under the auspices of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa stressed Bahrain’s pride at hosting the forum for the first time ever.
He stressed the importance of the pan-Arab session which brings together high-profile decision-makers, senior officials and financial and investment experts.
Shaikh Ahmed underlined the instrumental role of Arab financial institutions and commended their efforts to spearhead growth over the past decades.
He stressed Arab countries’ economic reforms, highlighting particularly the drive of oil-exporting countries to diversify sources of income. Faced with plummeting prices in international markets, they embarked on structural reforms to boost non-oil revenues.
He underscored challenges facing Arab countries due to global economic downturn and declining trade exchanges.
“Bahrain anticipated the current trends and embarked long ago on a policy to diversify the national economy and boost non-oil revenues,” Shaikh Ahmed said.
He highlighted mega projects in aluminium, petrochemicals, seaports, logistic services and telecommunications sector, in addition to financial and banking services. He also stressed the role of legislation in boosting investments and revitalising the economy, highlighting the government’s efforts to develop human resources.