Bahrain's Ambassador in Washington: Bahrain has dealt with COVID-19 pandemic responsibly and in full transparency
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States of America, Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, affirmed that Bahrain has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic responsibly and in full transparently on the basis that public health is linked to the security and safety of all citizens and residents. He praised the directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to treat all existing cases of citizens and residents and working at the same time to increase the number of tests in a way that contributes to limiting the spread of the virus and the repercussions of the pandemic.
This came in an interview dedicated to discussing innovation for responsible governance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ambassador noted that the Kingdom ranked the highest recovery rate in the region with a rate of 93%, while the death rate reached 0.36% as early action was taken to deal with the pandemic, adding that before discovering the first case, the Kingdom took various proactive precautionary measures, under the directives of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The Ambassador touched on the issue of innovation in dealing with the pandemic, noting in this regard the launch of the application of “BeAware", using car parks as intensive care units, establishing temporary housing for foreign workers who live in overcrowded places, and using buses as mobile examination units.
He stated that there are many opportunities for innovation for the government in cooperation with the private sector to find solutions, adding that according to international reports, the economic situation of Bahrain and the countries of the region will be in a better shape next year. He noted that Bahrain is expected to achieve 3% growth in real GDP, as government spending has been reduced by 30% to av oid exceeding this year's budget of expenses.
He said that Bahrain has always been aware of the importance of diversifying sources of income and the financial sector, as it contributes to the GDP by 16.7%, followed by the manufacturing sector and the government services sector, noting that the Economic Development Board had succeeded in attracting 134 foreign companies up to 2019.
The Ambassador also discussed the recent oil and gas discoveries and how they will revive the local economy, and reviewed the financial technology and innovation project launched by the Central Bank of Bahrain.