After Allocating $5 Billion Investment Fund, Is Bahrain Waiting New Saudi Support?
2023-05-18 - 12:48 am
Bahrain Mirror: Saudi Arabia is working to support Bahrain's collapsing economy every now and then. It recently revealed that it had allocated an investment fund to inject $5 billion into Manama, and confirmed that it is working to accelerate work on the parallel bridge project between the two countries to boost tourism.
Bahrain is still suffering from a decline in economic performance, although it has recovered somehow over the past year with the significant increase in oil prices, however, fiscal surpluses have disappeared without anyone seeing them, which makes it in need of more Gulf support, in particular.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have already supported the Gulf kingdom with $10 billion to fix its years-long economic situation.
Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who recently visited Bahrain, said that Riyadh has allocated a fund to invest $5 billion in Bahrain, noting that the two countries discussed accelerating the parallel bridge project between them. He added that the fund will include various investment sectors. Al-Falih announced the establishment of the Saudi-Bahraini Urban Planning Council, and holding of an annual Saudi-Bahraini forum, with a special portal for Bahraini investors as a priority.
Unlike the Gulf states whose citizens enjoy good economic life, thanks to their strong economies and continuous support of their citizens, Bahraini citizens face difficulties in living and low standard of living.
Bahrain's citizens also suffer from high prices, lack of jobs, increasing number of unemployment, financial taxes, increasing cost of living, and high financial irregularities documented in the official reports of the National Audit Office.
At the beginning of 2022, Bahrain decided to double the value-added tax from 5% to 10% and cancel the 3% annual increase for retirees in order to increase state revenues and reduce its budget deficit, which affected the lives of its citizens and increased their suffering.
There are no official figures in Bahrain on poverty or unemployment rates, but the Secretary-General of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, Abdulqader Al-Shehabi, has already confirmed that more than 14,699 unemployed have registered their data in the National Program for the Registration of the Unemployed launched by the union.