Initiative on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

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Finance and National Economy Minister, Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, participated in a High-Level Meeting on the “Initiative on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond”.

Countries’ leaders and heads of governments participated in the virtual High-Level Meeting, held on the sidelines of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75).

Addressing the meeting, the Finance Minister expressed the kingdom’s appreciation of the UN and its initiatives aimed at mitigating the effects and repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa pointed out that the pandemic and the economic challenges resulting from it require continued work and joint cooperation among all countries in order to overcome the consequences of this pandemic and achieve global economic recovery, stressing the importance of continuing such joint cooperation and coordination among all countries to successfully overcome common challenges.

The minister highlighted the pre-emptive and precautionary measures taken by the Government of Bahrain to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, citing the launch of the financial and economic stimulus package consisting of more than 20 initiatives worth more than 11 billion US dollars, or the equivalent of a third of the kingdom’s GDP.

These initiatives include the payment of 100% of the salaries of Bahraini employees through the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the suspension of fees on the sectors adversely affected by pandemic with the aim of protecting jobs, providing the necessary liquidity for the private sector, and ensuring the stability of the labour market and all economic sectors, he said.

Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa affirmed that Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 had played a major role in diversifying the economy and supporting innovation in a way that achieves growth and prosperity for all citizens.

He underlined the importance of taking financial measures that would contribute to mitigating the economic effects of the pandemic through the optimal use of financial resources, noting that Bahrain has adopted the Fiscal Balance Programme for the sake of achieving the balance point by 2022, and is continuing to implement its initiatives in order to reach the desired goal.

The Finance Minister noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the importance of the role of technology and digitisation in promoting economic sustainability, and made it necessary for everyone to accelerate digital transformation.

The meeting discussed the latest financial and economic developments and implications related to the global outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and their impact on the economic sectors and the global economy.

It also discussed available options resulting from the deliberations of the UN Six Discussion Groups, while making sure that the list of options reflects the needs and opinions of the Member States.

The participants also reviewed the necessary measures to be taken in the next stage, and the steps that will be implemented under the supervision of the United Nations to support Member States with the aim of recovering from this global challenge represented by pandemic, which will contribute to achieving sustainable development goals and enhancing economic resilience in the long term.

BNA(R)

SOURCE: BIZBAHRAIN

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