Manama: Finance and National Economy Minister, Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, has participated in the “Sovereign Investor Forum”, held virtually by Standard Chartered Bank on the sidelines of the 2020 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.
A number of international investors and clients of sovereign funds took part in the webinar.
During the forum, the minister reviewed the proactive measures and plans taken by the Kingdom before the spread of the Coronavirus at the global level to limit the repercussions and economic impacts of the pandemic, highlighting the initiatives that have been implemented to preserve the health and safety of community members and maintain economic growth.
He indicated that while dealing with the pandemic, Bahrain has given top priority to the health of the citizens and residents, through devising pre-emptive plans even before the detection of the first active case.
He noted that the kingdom’s strategy was flexible, which enabled it to deal with all stages of the virus spread in accordance with the developments that occur at all levels.
The kingdom intensified its preventive efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 by following the “Trace, Test and Treat” strategy aimed at rapidly discovering cases and speeding up their treatment, which contributes to speedy recovery of cases, he said, noting that Bahrain is the third in the world in the rate of daily tests for every1,000 people, and to date more than a million and a half tests have been conducted.
He affirmed that all treatment services have been provided free for the citizens and residents alike, adding that more initiatives aimed at safeguarding the safety of everyone in the Kingdom will be launched.
The Minister of Finance noted that the national economy had posted remarkable growth in the third quarter of 2020 across many sectors, and that it is expected to continue achieving the required rates of positive growth based on a number of economic indicators.
The minister pointed out that Bahrain had launched a financial and economic stimulus package worth more than BD 4.5 billion, or the equivalent to 31% of the Kingdom’s GDP, to support the diversification of the economy by injecting the necessary liquidity to the private sector and supporting its individuals and companies, which contributed to mitigating the effects of the pandemic on various vital sectors.
The minister also said that the kingdom has been keen on protecting jobs by paying 100% of salaries of the citizens working in the private sector during the first three months of the pandemic, and then decided to pay 50% of those salaries until the end of this year.
He asserted that such initiatives and other financial measures taken by the kingdom have stimulated economic growth, ensured the continuity of the development process and contributed to achieving national goals.
He indicated that the Kingdom is resolved to implement ambitious plans and policies that would contribute to successfully overcoming the challenges of the Coronavirus in a way that would ensure continuous economic growth.
The minister stressed the need to intensify efforts and step up joint cooperation and coordination to face the challenges and changes caused by the pandemic to achieve the aspirations of the citizens.
During the webinar, the participants exchanged experiences, and discussed innovative solutions to overcome the pandemic and the current challenges resulting from it.
They also discussed all initiatives that would contribute to enhancing economic growth.
Source: Bahrain News Agency