iGA celebrates GCC Statistics Day

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Manama, Dec. 23 (BNA): The Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA) joined GCC Statistical Centre and other GCC government statistics organisations in celebrating GCC Statistics Day, which falls on 24 December every year. This year’s theme is ‘Statistics for Sustainable Opportunities’.


iGA Acting Chief Executive and Deputy CE of Electronic Transformation, Dr. Zakareya AlKhajah congratulated professionals working in statistics fields across the Kingdom and the GCC, highlighting the importance of their studies and surveys in improving the reliability and sustainability of Gulf databases and indices, and more accurately reflecting the performance of different sectors. Accurate and trusted data is invaluable to decision makers who formulate national policies and strategies.


Dr. AlKhajah discussed the iGA’s most notable achievements in statistics during 2022, including its integration with government entities such as Customs Affairs, which ensures the reliable exchange of information and streamlines data flows used for Bahrain’s foreign trade statistics. The iGA also expanded the use of administrative records in surveys and studies, and is looking to further enhance cooperation with the sources of this data through a number of agreements aimed at ensuring the periodic receipt of the required data. The information is then inspected by the iGA’s Statistics team in accordance with international standards. This data includes the use of National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) records to estimate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in line with an agreement and through a committee that monitors and inspects the methodologies applied in generating seasonal and annual estimates in line with global standards.


A number of statistical systems that rely on administrative records were introduced during the year, most notably one for hotels and apartments which was implemented by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority. The system produces indices for the hotel sector in real-time, covers all licensed hotel establishments, and is used to produce tourism statistics.


Dr. AlKhajah listed several other accomplishments, including improved coordination between the iGA, the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), which resulted in the adoption of new methodologies, including reliance on administrative records, which will help decision makers improve the financial sector’s contributions to the GDP and the Kingdom’s economic recovery


He added that among the iGA’s most notable achievements was the launch of a joint Gulf survey in November 2022 that targeted GCC companies and organizations based in Bahrain. Carried out in cooperation with the GCC Statistical Center, the survey aims to measure the impact of economic decisions by the GCC Supreme Council and will help improve sustainable economic integration between Gulf countries. The results are expected to be announced in early 2023.


Dr. AlKhajah highlighted the close cooperation with Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), particularly when it comes to producing official statistics from administrative records, and GASTAT’s unique experience in carrying out these types of surveys.


The iGA has formed joint teams with various public and private organizations which ensure up-to-date national data and indices. This is in addition to international cooperation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), whose indices iGA incorporates into its own work.


Announced through a GCC Ministerial Committee decision at its 141st session held on 24th November 2016 in Manama, GCC Statistics Day highlights the important role of statistics and statisticians in development planning, and further strengthens partnerships among GCC countries.