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Pillar 1: Developing strategic priority sectors 

Bahrain has commenced the rollout of a five-pillar national economic growth and fiscal balance plan (the Plan).  The Plan is in line with Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030 and aims to support the country's post-Covid recovery and economic diversification, as well as to enhance the Kingdom's long-term international competitiveness. Its five pillars include:

  1. Developing strategic priority sectors; 
  2. Launching major strategic projects; 
  3. Simplifying commercial procedures; 
  4. Achieving fiscal sustainability and economic stability; and
  5. Creating quality jobs for Bahrainis.  

This series will detail the goals and initiatives planned under each pillar, kicking off with pillar 1 – developing strategic priority sectors (the Priority Sectors Plan). 

The Priority Sectors Plan involves the implementation of six new sector strategies across Tourism, Logistics, Financial Services, Telecommunications & Digital Economy, the Industrial Sector and the Oil and Gas sector. The Plan's launch announced key objectives and projects to be achieved and implemented under each sector as set out below. 

  • The Tourism Sector: with the objective of promoting Bahrain as an international tourism hub, the Plan aims to increase the Tourism Sector's contribution to the Kingdom's GDP to 11.4% by 2026. The planned projects hope to achieve a diversification of tourism products offered to Bahrain's visitors and an increase in the number of target markets. The successful completion of the Al Dana Amphitheatre under this sector plan saw Bahrain host a number of musicians such as Kings of Leon and Eric Clapton, with Justin Bieber joining the list in October 2022.  
  • The Logistics Sector: the Plan aims to ensure that Bahrain is classified as one of the top 20 countries worldwide in the logistics sector by 2030. To achieve this, the Plan intends to increase the number of airline flights to 70+ destinations worldwide, to achieve 1 million metric tons air freight capacity and 1 million containers cargo port capacity, and to increase the contribution of the Logistics Sector to the Kingdom's GDP to 10% by 2030. 
  • The Financial Services Sector: like the Tourism Sector, the objectives under the Financial Services Sector are to be achieved by 2026, and are as follows: 
  • 20% gradual increase in the share of financing allocated to SMEs from the domestic financial portfolio by the end of 2025;
  • 20% increase in participating of individuals and institutions in public debt primary issuance;
  • Increase in the insurance sector's contribution to the GDP by the end of 2026 to 8%;
  • 5 companies to be listed on the Bahrain investment market;
  • 3000 training opportunities annually in key areas of the financial sector by the end of 2024;
  • 25% decrease in the volume of currency circulation;
  • Maintaining a consistent annual growth of 10% in the electronic fund transfers; and
  • Maintaining the financial sector's GDP contribution in the range of 20% until the end of 2026, following with an increase to 25%.
  • The Telecommunications, IT and Digital Economy Sector: the Plan hopes to achieve the following key performance indicators within this sector by 2026: 
  • 100% national broadband network (BNET) coverage; 
  • National capacity building in cybersecurity through awareness and training of 20,000 citizens; 
  • 20% increase in the number of IT sector start-ups; 
  • A minimum of 200 additional automated government services; and 
  • A 35% increase in national employment within this sector by 2022-2023. 
  • The Industrial Sector: this sector aims to promote Bahrain's local industries and to create a larger space for Bahraini workers to develop within it. The Plan hopes to achieve an increase in the Industrial sector's contribution to Bahrain's GDP to 14.5%, 80.1% in total export contribution and a 25.3% increase in percentage of Bahrainis from overall workers. 

The Plan is an exciting step towards the nation's post-Covid recovery with the aim of solidifying Bahrain's place as a leading economy. To quote His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Finance and National Economy, “This comprehensive economic and fiscal plan is an investment in our nation’s people, our businesses, and the future of Bahrain”.

Read more - Pillar 2: Launching major strategic projects