RIYADH: Bahrain’s non-oil gross domestic product is expected to grow by another 5 percent this year, as it bucks global trends with low inflation and high growth, according to the CEO of the country’s Economic Development Board.
Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Khalid Humaidan also said that while the country had already seen growth in the sector of 9 percent in the second quarter of the year, a further rise was expected.
He said Bahrain was benefiting from a high level of foreign direct investment, securing $921 million in the first nine months of 2022, and the development board has identified six priority sectors; manufacturing, logistics, tourism, information and communications technology, financial services, and oil and gas.
“We want to focus on attracting investments into those sectors, with the help of everybody. This is something that we think we should be able to maintain. We're lucky. In Bahrain today we're experiencing high growth, low inflation, relatively speaking,” Humaidan told Arab News.
“Real GDP growth is significantly higher than most parts of the world, most of the world is experiencing the exact opposite: high inflation, low growth rates. With us, this is something that we've seen this year, non-oil GDP grew at 9 percent in the second quarter, we had a very healthy growth rate. This is something that we think we should be able to continue, as long as we continue to develop and work on our priority projects,” he added.
Humaidan went on to explain how Bahrain’s economic recovery plan launched last year has now been adapted into an economic development plan, and $30 billion worth of priority projects that have started will continue to develop in order to achieve their objectives.
“We think if we focus on our priority projects, our priority sectors will be achieved, and we will be able to achieve other goals that we have in the economic recovery plan. Fiscal balance by the end of 2024 — we've committed to that target as a government, and that will happen by growing the non-oil GDP in the country. We expect non-oil GDP to grow more than 5 percent this year,” he said.
The executive added that his board expects to create at least 20,000 jobs for Bahrain every year.