Bahrain plans $30bn investment as it balances its budget
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Bahrain plans $30bn investment as it balances its budget

Bahrain plans $30bn investment as it balances its budget

The kingdom aims to create more than 20,000 jobs annually for citizens by 2024

Bahrain unveiled a new economic growth plan targeting $30bn of investments as it looks to shore up its economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and balance its budget by 2024.

The small Gulf nation aims to create more than 20,000 jobs annually for citizens by 2024 and attract $2.5bn in foreign direct investment by 2023, according to a statement on Sunday by the Ministry of Finance and National Economy.

Bahrain has struggled to keep its finances in check in recent years. The pandemic exacerbated its economic deterioration even after a $10bn package pledged by neighbours in 2018. In an effort to boost revenue, it plans to double its value-added tax to 10 per cent, the highest rate after Saudi Arabia.

The International Monetary Fund sees Bahrain’s budget shortfall equalling 8 per cent of economic output this year, less than half of last year’s 18 per cent deficit. If the government achieves its goal of a balanced budget by 2024, it would be the country’s first full-year surplus since 2008, according to IMF data.

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