Economic Vision 2030
Bahrain aspires to transition from an oil-based economy to a productive economy capable of competing on a global level. While the government shapes this vision, the pioneering private sector drives its initiatives.
The government and Bahraini society have adopted the principles of equity, competition and sustainability for providing means of an honourable life to the Bahraini people and benefiting from their full potential.
Basic Principles of Economic Vision 2030
The vision is that Bahrain achieves a highly competitive capability in the global economy and succeeds in increasing production more naturally in a competitive climate that pushes forth the wheel of economic growth, multiplies profits and raises wage levels. The rising average of production shall increase the capability of commodities and services to compete in the global market and usher in more revenue. This will cause companies to provide better services and continuously search for best ways for production.
Bahrain’s vision is that the impending economic success of the Kingdom shall impact the society on a wide scale. It will lead to the creation of a broad base of prosperity. Each individual shall be able to make valued contributions to the society when the means and appropriate opportunities are provided to him.
In order to stimulate and strengthen equity, the public and private sector must adhere to transparency. They must provide an environment of free and fair competition in all transactions. The role of the government lies in providing a legal and regulatory framework that guarantees the protection of consumers and fair treatment of businessmen including foreign investors. This means the rooting out of corruption and striving towards the fair application of laws.
Equity in society means treating everyone equally pursuant to the law.
A large portion of the magnitude of growth witnessed in Bahrain during the last two decades is owed to the public sector. However, it is becoming difficult to proceed further in the same direction considering the increasing restrictions that government budgets are generally faced with and the increasing competition in the global economy. As such, by 2030, it is envisaged that the private sector will be capable to manage the economic activity in a manner that shall ensure the sustainable prosperity.
The economic vision is to consolidate the prosperity of our Kingdom on strong foundations. Therefore, it is imperative that the government funding policy is compliant with the principle of sustainability in order to maintain a stable system based on future aspirations.
Government Action Plan (2019-2022)
The Government Action Plan (2019-2022) focuses on consolidating the achievements of the country and its citizens by striking a fiscal balance between expenditure and revenue while continuing on the path of positive economic growth, monetary stability and comprehensive development.
The approach towards fiscal sustainability and economic growth in the Government Action Plan is aimed at reducing the budget deficit, stabilising public debt and arriving at a fiscal balance between expenditure and revenue by the end of 2022, while continuing on the path of positive economic growth and attracting investment in a manner that contributes to the creation of more promising job opportunities for citizens. This is through developing the non-oil sectors and regulating and developing the sector of oil, gas and related industries in light of the discovery of the largest oil and gas field in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce contributes to achieving the Government’s vision regarding sustainable economic growth primarily through its initiatives which are as follows:
- Enhancing the role of the private sector as the primary driver of growth.
- Diversification of local economy through supporting priority economic sectors (oil, manufacturing industry, financial services, logistics, tourism, communications and information technology).
- Strengthening the legislative and regulatory environment necessary for sectors that support economic growth.
- Reinforcing and developing the investment environment for encouraging investment, innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Working towards improving Bahrain's connectivity with regional and international markets.
This is in addition to the Ministry's contribution towards supporting and strengthening the role of start-ups and SMEs that support economic growth, and in conducting support programmes to ensure the growth of the business environment.
Developing the Goals of the Ministry
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has adopted clear strategic plans and objectives based on a set of programmes and projects identified in accordance with the Government Action Plan 2019-2022 and the aspirations of the Economic Vision 2030, in line with the Economic Vision 2030 of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Within the framework of the Ministry’s efforts to achieve the targets, the Ministry has announced its goals which include six strategic themes and 15 initiative / projects (to be adjusted according to the Government Action Plan every 4 years) to be translated into on-field contributions for improving and developing the commercial and industrial environment in the public and private sectors of Bahrain.
These goals are based on a set of focus points, the most important whereof are: ensuring a fair and transparent regulatory climate, benefiting from bilateral and international trade agreements, the presence of a competitive SME sector, enhancing the export capability of the national manufacturing industry, raising the level of competition in the industrial sector and improving the quality and efficiency of the Ministry’s services by employing modern information technology.
Measures of Success of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce
The initiatives of the Ministry impact priority matters considering that the Ministry is the primary driver of the economy in the Government. Its services have a significant impact on the society in the following areas:
- Improving the quality of life; this, through creating jobs by creating opportunities and activities in the industrial and commercial sectors.
- Facilitating procedures in accordance with international best practices related to the practice of industrial and commercial activity which shall positively impact national incomes.
- Improving the quality of life by providing a world-class infrastructure for business.
- Safeguarding the rights of consumers and maintaining quality in manufacturing and services, whether local or foreign.
- Increasing awareness among the public for matters related to intellectual property rights, consumer rights and corporate governance.
General Strategies of the Ministry
The work of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain is focused on strong foundations built upon the principles of justice, competition and sustainability, on achieving a fiscal balance between government revenues and expenditures by the year 2022 and sustainable growth. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has institutionalised a number of general strategies for the indigenisation of these principles, some of which are as follows:
- Emphasising the importance of providing a fair environment that safeguards the rights of the consumer as well as the trader and protects both parties from erroneous commercial practices, and contributes to building consumer trust in the commodities sold in the market by strengthening trust through achieving high levels of transparency, regulation and control for ensuring the compliance of market commodities with specifications and metrics. This is in addition to the Ministry emphasising on the need to enhance and increase consumer awareness in matters related to rights and commodities by strengthening consumer and trader awareness related to rights and practices of commercial transactions.
- Promoting competitiveness in the business environment by facilitating commercial and investment business practice and raising the Kingdom’s competitiveness by supporting commercial business needs and enacting policies and laws.
- Focusing on investment in non-oil sectors for creating investment opportunities therein, and improving the regulatory and procedural environment for enabling diversified investments by facilitating the provision of services and licences electronically through a unified portal on the Ministry’s e-system “Sijilat 2.0” and the industrial services system “Industry”.
- Focusing on enhancing the culture of entrepreneurship by increasing the number of start-up companies and enterprises, and popularising entrepreneurship culture as an important pillar of knowledge for the youth by assisting in the orientation of their mindsets towards successful and sustainable commercial projects. This is in addition to supporting business accelerators and incubators, and entrepreneurship centres, and developing freelance programmes and content at the various educational levels.
- The Ministry keenly works on securing more and more financing, investment and development programmes aimed at SMEs, increasing the creation of job opportunities in SMEs and creating an attractive and stimulating environment for the SME sector by reviewing and developing existing policies, procedures and systems, and creating an electronic portal that enables these enterprises to participate in government tenders and procurements allocated therefor where they can also obtain a preference of 10% at the time of participating in auctions of service utilities for the facilities of government agencies.
- The initiatives of the Ministry have given special consideration to countering money laundering and terror financing operations. These initiatives also include the launch of a comprehensive electronics service centre “Sijilat 2.0” for investors, and strengthening control through the implementation of governance, compliance of companies and raising the levels of transparency and disclosure.
The strategic goals of the Ministry shall be achieved by creating programmes that are integrated therewith and contain performance indicators for measuring its accomplishments and ascertaining the achievement of its goals.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has constituted an Equal Opportunities Committee, a panel created to integrate women’s needs in the framework of equal opportunities in the workplace. The Committee works to achieve the principle of equal opportunities for all employees, beneficiaries and services provided by the Ministry by coordinating with the Supreme Council for Women. The Committee puts forth its opinions in cases related to integrating the needs of the women in the framework of equal opportunities. The Ministry constituted the Equal Opportunities Committee after the issuance of Instructions No. 04 of 2014 of the Civil Service Bureau regarding the creation of an Equal Opportunities Committee in the government sector.
The Equal Opportunities Committee at the Ministry is concerned with developing rules, benchmarks and plans related to the application of equal opportunities and achieving complete integration of women’s needs in the equal opportunities framework, following-up on the application thereof, and providing consultations in coordination with the Supreme Council for Women and the Civil Service Bureau whenever required in accordance with its competences provided for in the law and regulations of Civil Service in the following fields:
- Promoting the equality of opportunities among the employees of the Ministry in matters of appointments, training, exchange programmes and promotions, and guaranteeing the observance of integrating the needs of the working woman.
- Integrating the needs of the women in the framework of equal opportunities in policies, plans and budgets of the Ministry.
- Building capacity of the Ministry’s employees in the field of women’s needs in the equal opportunities framework.
- Improving the status of the woman and her work environment, and overcoming impediments and difficulties that obstruct the application of the principle of equal opportunity at the Ministry.
- Supporting the efforts of the Supreme Council for Women, vitalising and publicising its efforts in the field of equal opportunities, and integrating the needs of the woman in the equal opportunities framework in the Ministry’s programmes in accordance with the national plan programmes for the advancement of the Bahraini woman.
- Realising the principle of equal opportunities for all beneficiaries of the services provided by the Ministry.