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Bahrain: overcoming challenges

Bahrain: overcoming challenges



Bahrain’s forward drive

To bolster Bahrain’s exports, the government is aiming to boost SMEs’ contribution to 40 per cent of the Kingdom’s GDP by the year 2022

January 2019

Overcoming challenges presented by the global financial crisis and the oil price crash of 2014, Bahrain government is moving ahead with its diversification plan, bolstering its manufacturing and non-oil economy.

“The industrial sector, today, is one of the fastest growing sectors in our economy. It is forecast to grow even further in line with the government’s policy to diversify and expand economy away from oil.

“Manufacturing sector makes a huge contribution to Bahraini economy in terms of jobs, exports and other investments and is considered today as one of the fastest growing sectors within our economy,” said the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and Chairman of the SME Development Board, Zayed Al Zayani at a press briefing, recently.

The industrial sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP), ALZayani said the government is hoping to increase it to 20 pc from the current 16pc by 2020.

In its latest move, the government is aiming to boost small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contribution to 40 per cent of the Kingdom’s GDP by the year 2022.

Al Zayani: thrust on exports to drive non-oil economy

Al Zayani: thrust on exports to drive non-oil economy

The development of SMEs will be a top priority for the ministry and the newly formed SME Development Board, said Al Zayani.

According to him the target was to increase the share of exports in the national GDP from 8 per cent to 20 per cent and raise the number of Bahrainis working in SMEs from 36,000 to 43,000, by 2022.

Shedding light on the ‘Bahrain Export’ initiative launched by the board in cooperation with Tamkeen in November, the minister said it aims to strengthen the private sector’s role, promote exports and increase competitive power of local SMEs.

 

GDP GROWTH REACHES 1.62PC

Bahrain’s economy recorded a real growth of 1.62 per cent and 7.49 per cent in current prices during the third quarter (Q3) of the year compared to the same period last year, said a report from the kingdom’s Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA).

The results showed that despite the decline in the quantities of oil produced, but the rise in the price of the barrel led to the growth of the oil sector at current prices.

In regards to non-oil economy activities performance, initial results indicate that the annual growth rates in real prices grew by 2.38 per cent compared to the same period of 2017 and 2.69 per cent at current prices.

The report presented that the growth rate in the oil sector has recorded an increase by 40.51 per cent at current prices, due to the rise in the price of oil barrels, despite the decline in the quantities produced while it decreased by 1.54 per cent at constant prices compared to the third quarter of 2017.

The manufacturing industry also grew by 2.98 per cent at constant prices and 3.18 per cent at current prices of 2017. Moreover, the report indicated that construction activity grew by 5.36 per cent at constant prices and 8.74 per cent at current prices. Real estate and business activities grew by 2.94 per cent at constant prices and 3.65 per cent at current prices. The transportation and telecommunications sectors demonstrated a decrease by 1.95 per cent at constant prices and 0.35 per cent at current prices.

Other government services increased by 7.30 per cent at constant prices and 4.52 per cent at current prices, whereas the other social and personal services increased by 1.99 per cent at constant prices and 1.96 per cent at current prices. Additionally, electricity and water activity grew by 4.94 per cent in constant prices and 4.22 per cent in current prices.

Furthermore, health services increased by 5.23 per cent at constant prices and 7.15 per cent at current prices. Educational services increased by 3.34 per cent at constant prices and 3.77 per cent at current prices. In term of agricultural and fishing activity, it also increased by 5.28 per cent in constant prices and 6.91 per cent in current prices.

According to the report, the economic growth rates witness a slight reduction of 1.46 per cent at constant prices and 0.54 per cent at the current prices during the third quarter in comparison to the second quarter of this year. Moreover, the oil sector increased by 0.85 per cent at constant prices and 5.10 per cent at current prices. The non-oil sector decreased by 1.98 per cent and 1.59 per cent at constant and current prices respectively.

Manufacturing industry makes a huge contribution to Bahrain’s economy

Manufacturing industry makes a huge contribution to Bahrain’s economy

Financial sector rose by 1.42 per cent at constant prices and 1.37 per cent at current prices. The construction activity increased by 0.40 per cent at constant prices and 2.16 per cent at current prices. The value added of the transportation and telecommunications sector increased by 0.02 per cent at constant prices and 1.07 per cent at current prices. Results also show that manufacturing industry achieved a growth of 0.08 per cent at constant prices and 1.74 per cent at current prices.

The report indicated that other public services witnessed an increase by 3.72 per cent at constant prices and 3.24 per cent at current prices. Other social and personal services rose by 2.29 per cent at constant prices and 0.82 per cent at current prices.

In addition, health services increased by 0.31 per cent at constant prices and 7.15 per cent at current prices while agriculture and fishing activities rose by 0.01 per cent at constant prices and 0.27 per cent at current prices.

 

TAMKEEN TO HELP

Meanwhile, Labour Fund Tamkeen has joined hands with Fives Group, a global industrial engineering group, and Bahrain Polytechnic to launch an ambitious educational initiative aimed at increasing the number of Bahraini workforce in the industrial sector.

The initiative aims to reinforce the employability of Bahrainis by bridging existing skill gaps, in-line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 requirements.

Fives is a global industrial engineering group active in many industrial sectors (aluminium, cement, energy, aerospace, etc). The company was roped in for the non-profit initiative, as part of its Corporate Citizenship Program.

As per the deal, Fives Group will provide internship opportunities within the worldwide network of its companies and will partner with Bahrain Polytechnic, a public tertiary education institute, to foster a culture of custom-made vocational training programmes.

Tamkeen CEO Dr Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi said there was a need to organise more specialised training partnerships to enhance the Bahraini individuals’ skills in various sectors in line with one of its main objectives in making the Bahraini individual employee of choice.

“Tamkeen has gone a long way in developing Bahrainis in line with the labour market needs, especially in the vital sectors, including the industrial sector,” stated Dr Janahi.

Present at the meeting were a number of Tamkeen’s executives, partners and stakeholders to discuss key steps and best practices towards the successful implementation of the agreement, it added.

Frédéric Sanchez, chairman of executive board, Fives Group, said: “Fives has a longstanding commitment to Bahrain where we have been established
since 2003.”

“As a corporate citizen, we are proud to contribute to the communities in which we operate. This initiative is one of the ways in which the Group supports the sustainability of the industry in Bahrain,” he said.

“The partnership between public and private entities that we have created with this initiative is really a model for the future,” he added.

The training programmes will be implemented and delivered by Bahrain Polytechnic, which was established by Bahraini Government to deliver applied learning, technical education, skills-based and occupational trainings.

Dr Jeff Zabudsky, chief executive officer of Bahrain Polytechnic, said: “This agreement between us and Fives Group perfectly matches the objective of our institute, which is to support the country’s economic growth and diversification.”




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