Viewpoint: King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Our world today is witnessing rapid changes and facing pressing challenges that require everyone to be flexible and thoughtful in how we move forward in order to ensure the continued progress of humanity. For our part, we have targeted and realised many development-related achievements. Our country is looking to the future with great optimism as we take further strides towards the establishment of a modernised and civilised state that keeps pace with scientific and technological advancements. Under the leadership of Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the government has incorporated global trends that are beneficial to Bahrain into its programmes.
In order to transition towards a modern, knowledge-based economy we have directed the government to create a national plan to ensure we are fully prepared to meet the needs of the digital economy. This will be done by establishing the necessary framework to accommodate progress, encouraging quality investments, and adopting and employing artificial intelligence technologies in the production and services sectors to maximise the benefits to our country.
Indeed, we have implemented plans and programmes to sustain the flow of international investment in a way that diversifies the economy’s sources of income in line with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030. The positive growth rates we have seen over the past 10 years demonstrate the effectiveness of these policies. While diversification efforts are under way, we are continuing to develop the oil and gas sector in light of recent major discoveries. We are supporting related projects such as the expansion of the Bahrain Petroleum Company refinery, investment in the Bahrain Natural Gas Company, the opening of the liquefied gas terminal, Aluminium Bahrain’s Line 6 expansion and the new oil pipeline with Saudi Arabia.
We are also making advancements in transport. A number of projects are moving the country forward, including the expansion of Bahrain International Airport and the start of executive studies for the construction of the King Hamad Causeway, both of which are strategic investments that support our economy.
Countries around the world are working to find solutions that enhance the quality of life and ensure food security. To this end, Bahrain is taking steps to adopt best practices that will ensure self-sufficiency. The government has issued directives to develop and implement a strategic project for national food production that will allocate multiple sites for aquaculture and plant production. The project primarily aims to develop the capacity of the national food industry, to increase local food production and to retain expert human resources.
Bahrain shares the international community’s concerns about climate change and is working to mitigate its effects on our surroundings. Our policies are drafted in a manner to combat this challenge and protect our environment. What is more, we have implemented projects aimed at cooling and improving the climate, such as the diversification and expansion of agricultural spaces and waterfront areas.
Our hopes and aspirations call upon all of us to uphold the rule of law and establish its sovereignty by continuing to advance the judiciary and its institutions, services and procedures. We are working to protect the interests of litigants and develop laws that promote citizens’ rights, such as the Alternative Penalties and Procedures Law. The government is looking forward to working with all relevant parties and applying the legislation’s provisions in a manner that consolidates social stability and gives those convicted the opportunity to resume their positive roles in society.
The prosperity and security of a country can be achieved only through continued economic expansion. Given that one-fifth of the world’s oil and gas supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz, any threat to the freedom of navigation in the region is therefore considered a disruption to international trade, a disturbance to oil prices and a challenge to the global economy.
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