Manama, Nov. 22 (BNA): The Minister of Finance and National Economy, H.E Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, today participated in the opening session of the 15th edition of the Manama Dialogue security conference.
The plenary session, entitled the New Geo-Economics of the Middle East, focused on the geo-economic trends of Middle East-Asia relations and their strategic implications.
During the session, H.E Shaikh Salman praised the longstanding depth of political and economic Middle East-Asia relations, whilst highlighting current and future trade dynamics. His Excellency noted that as GCC and Middle East economies continue their diversification efforts away from oil, sectors such as finance, tourism and technology will become increasingly important to bilateral trade development. The Minister stressed the importance of utilising such opportunities in light of global economic headwinds.
His Excellency went on to underscore the significance of trade between GCC countries and Asia, as well as Bahrain’s recent accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in South-East Asia. The Minister added that the Treaty will further enhance cooperation across various sectors and contribute to facilitating intra-regional trade and sustainable development.
When asked about the upcoming Saudi Arabian presidency of the G20, which will be the first Middle East-hosted G20, His Excellency noted the region’s pride in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency and the significant opportunity it presents to facilitate consensus on regional and global issues.
The Minister of Finance and National Economy also welcomed the opportunity the Manama Dialogue provides to discuss and shape policy responses to issues that affect regional and global stability. His Excellency underscored the Kingdom of Bahrain’s commitment to pursuing positive neighbourly relations in light of regional challenges for the benefit of the region and its people.
His Excellency concluded by stating that even in light of regional challenges, the Middle East continues to liberalise its regulatory environments to foster strong private sector growth, and that the remarkable standard of human capital in the Middle East is capable of driving forward the region. In this regard, the Minister noted that four countries within the region, including Bahrain, ranked among the top ten countries in the World Bank’s recent Ease of Doing Business Report.