Finance Minister attends meeting on enhancing access to opportunities in Arab countries

Manama: Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa participated in the high-level virtual meeting held by the Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the G20 and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


The participation in the “Enhancing Access to Opportunities in the Arab countries” was at the invitation of Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Jadaan.


In his participation in the session on “Enhancing Opportunities to Support Economic Recovery in the Arab Countries”, Shaikh Salman stressed the need to intensify international efforts through cooperation and coordination and move forward to tackle the effects and economic repercussions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to achieve stability for the global economy and bring benefits and development for all.


The minister pointed out that Bahrain has made, in its tackling of COVID-19, the health and safety of citizens and residents a top priority and has been keen to counter the effects of the pandemic in a way that achieves a balance between ensuring public health for all and supporting the national economy.


Shaikh Salman stressed that the government took several precautionary and proactive measures to stimulate the national economy and cushion the economic impacts resulting from the spread of the coronavirus by launching a financial and economic stimulus package.


The package consisted of more than 20 initiatives with a value of more than $11 billion, aimed at injecting liquidity into the local markets and supporting various economic sectors affected by the virus to assist citizens and business owners.

Some of its most salient features were paying the salaries of all private sector employees for the first three months of the pandemic and continuing the support by paying 50 percent in the following months.


The six-month economic and financial stimulus package contributed to support the development of the private sector and consolidated economic growth in the Kingdom, he added.


The minister stressed that Bahrain sought to secure the sustainability of its national economy by providing a strong infrastructure for information and communication technology (ICT), strengthening its components, providing it with advanced facilities and legislation, and harnessing modern technologies in various financial services and economic sectors to continue achieving economic growth.


Shaikh Salman said that the developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly affected the global economy, which requires immediate response to all plans and initiatives that will contribute to achieving financial sustainability and reducing global economic challenges.


The session addressed the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy as well as opportunities for economic growth and sustainable development that would contribute to achieving economic recovery in the Arab countries and limiting negative effects on economic sectors.


It also discussed the latest developments related to the next stages by reviewing global experiences in reaching economic growth and steering the economy towards more flexibility and comprehensiveness to achieve the full recovery of the global economic system.


The role of international and regional financial institutions in supporting efforts by states to enhance the possibility of providing better economic opportunities and overcoming the challenges they face were also discussed.


The aim of the discussion was to enhance access to these opportunities by focusing on several major topics, including interest in finance, infrastructure, social services, employment and education.


The session reviewed the action plan that will reflect the commitment to an immediate financial response and taking all necessary measures to ensure that it is achieved for the benefit and prosperity of all.


It also discussed policies that will contribute to the recovery of the global economy and support the sectors most affected through innovative solutions to support global trade and encourage greater investment.


This event included finance ministers, central bank governors from Arab countries, heads of international and regional financial institutions and prominent specialists in business and economy.



Source: Bahrain News Agency