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Joint Government and Parliamentary meeting on the Kingdom's economic and financial recovery

September 27, 2021

Manama, Sep.26 (BNA): The Executive and Legislative Authorities today held a joint meeting, headed by the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, HE Fawzia bint Abdullah Zainal, to review plans and initiatives related to the Kingdom's post-pandemic economic recovery.

Key points of discussion:

- HM the King's directives to ensure the protection of public health, including mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic

- Initiatives to support the national economy and the private sector, to preserve sustainable economic growth, protect jobs, create new opportunities for citizens, and ensure labour market stability

- Pre-pandemic economic and financial data to February 2020 indicating that interim Fiscal Balance Program goals had been exceeded

- Post COVID-19 recovery to secure the Kingdom's economic and financial stability and ensure the Fiscal Balance Program aims for a balanced budget by its new target date in 2024

- Maintenance of support for eligible citizens while adjusting the VAT percentage

- Continuation of VAT exemption for 94 essential food commodities and 1400 government services

HE Zainal commended the Executive and Legislative Authorities cooperation, stressing the importance of prioritising the Kingdom's development and modernisation.

HE Zainal noted that the meeting reflects the commitment of the Legislative and Executive Authorities to Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030.

HE Zainal commended the Kingdom of Bahrain's strong economic performance during 2021. Indicators are consistent with levels recorded before the pandemic. The real estate, sales, international exports, and tourism sectors showed particularly encouraging growth.

HE Zainal highlighted that the proactive measures taken by Bahrain in response to the global pandemic have been recognised internationally.

HE Zainal expressed the Council of Representatives' readiness to exercise its legislative role in the interest of the country and its citizens.

The Chairman of the Shura Council, HE Ali bin Saleh Al-Saleh, stressed that the Kingdom's positive economic indicators during the first eight months of 2021 match those recorded prior to the global pandemic, which began in 2019. This affirms the Kingdom's financial stability and excellence in implementing policies that achieve economic sustainability.

HE Al-Saleh praised the performance and efforts of the government, headed by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to develop programmes which supplement the national economy.

HE Al-Saleh indicated that the Shura Council will continue to support the government's ambitious plans by enacting legislation that enhances economic performance and attracts investment.

HE Al-Saleh commended the continuous cooperation and coordination between the legislative and executive authorities and praised the continuation of joint meetings, which result in the exchange of ideas and the discussion of legislative and executive initiatives.

For his part, the Minister of Finance and National Economy, HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, noted the government's commitment to the principles of the Fiscal Balance Program. The program aims to enhance expenditure efficiency, reduce operating expenses while maintaining social support for eligible citizens, and ensuring the continuity of high-quality government services during the post-COVID-19 recovery stage.

HE Shaikh Salman stressed the importance of the united spirit of Team Bahrain in the Kingdom's healthcare response and its role in Bahrain's post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

For their part, the Deputy Chairmen of the Shura and Representatives Councils and the Chairmen of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committees of the Shura and Representatives Councils expressed their thanks to the government for its cooperation with the Legislative Authority.

The Chairman of the Shura Council, HE Ali bin Saleh Al-Saleh, the Minister of Finance and National Economy, HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the Minister of Labour and Social Development, HE Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan, the Minister for Shura Council and Council of Representatives Affairs, HE Ghanem bin Fadhel Al-Buainain, the Minister of Industry, Commerce & Tourism, HE Zayed R. Alzayani, the First Deputy Chairman of the Shura Council, HE Jamal Mohammed Fakhro, the Second Deputy Chairman of the Shura Council, HE Jameela Ali Salman, Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Abdul Nabi Salman, Second Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Ali Ahmed Zayed, and the chairmen and members of the Finance and Economic Committees of the Shura and Representatives Councils, attended the meeting.