The Government Forum is an annual gathering platform between the leadership, government’s top management, senior officials and members of the parliament to discuss public sector’s role in the national development agenda in line with reform directions of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, which has placed the citizen at the heart of all development plans.
The forum is organized with inauguration of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, and led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister.
The Government Forum aims at re-boosting the role of government and delivering a modern and dynamic public sector that can facilitate long-term prosperity, meet citizens’ needs and aspirations, achieve sustainable development. The Government Forum outcomes is a main pillar to the Government Action plan that will serve the country for the coming years.
As highlighted by H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister, the Government Forum has facilitated interaction and exchange of new ideas across all levels within the government, as well as supporting the Government Action plan.
For more information about the Forum, please visit www.governmentforum.bh , or follow their social media channels: Twitter , YouTube , and Instagram.
During its 4th edition, HRH the Prime Minister highlighted the government’s continued commitment to develop the quality and efficiency of its services in order to support sustainable development efforts.
HRH the Prime Minister further highlighted that enhancing the efficiency of government services and simplifying government procedures is central to meeting the aspirations of citizens, and is a true indicator of the Kingdom’s progress and development.
HRH the Prime Minister emphasized that government’s wide-ranging priorities are designed to fulfil the aspirations of Bahrain’s citizens, to build on recent achievements and to ensure continued sustainable development. In this regard, HRH the Prime Minister noted that the Kingdom continues to capitalise on opportunities to enhance its global competitiveness.
HRH the Prime Minister then underscored the importance of overcoming current challenges and working towards constructive cooperation based on an innovative vision to further enhance the Kingdom’s competitiveness, noting the importance of meeting the needs of citizens and guaranteeing continued growth and a prosperous future for all.
HRH the Prime Minister also noted that the government is steadfast in enhancing governance and following-up on the completion of various projects against set milestones, using integrated electronic systems, which assist in determining the achievements of these projects.
H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister added that the Government Forum has become an important platform that contributes to the formulation of the government’s far-reaching development strategies and initiatives, ensuring further progress for the Kingdom and its citizens. H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister noted the importance of continuing to enhance the quality and delivery of government services to all citizens, residents, investors, and visitors, and that the advancement of quality services is vital in order to reaffirm consumer confidence in government services.
In its third edition, H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister gave a wide-ranging presentation on Bahrain’s progress and plans for the future at the Bahrain Government Forum 2018. He began by noting that Bahrain’s Vision 2030, launched in 2008, has been pursued in line with its three founding principles: sustainability, competitiveness, and fairness.
Despite challenges faced over the past decade, the Vision, based on strong economic fundamentals, has helped ensure Bahrain’s development, with non-oil sector growth standing at 5 percent in 2017, and FDI forecast to be $650 million in 2018, up from $65 million in 2008. Over the last 12 months, the government has made significant progress in delivering the Vision’s core priorities by supporting private sector growth as the main engine of economic development, encouraging greater innovation, and enhancing citizens’ standard of living. As part of the Government Action Plan , a range of new laws have been passed in the Parliament last year, including measures regulating bankruptcy and real estate development.
H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister also detailed the government’s recently announced Fiscal Balance Program, which aims to align government revenues with economic growth and eliminate Bahrain’s budget deficit by 2022. The Program is supported by the $10 billion Financial Support Agreement signed between Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait. He also emphasized that similarly as with previous challenges faced by the Kingdom; the united efforts of Team Bahrain will ensure all obstacles are overcome now and in the future.
HRH went on to outline key socioeconomic reforms that are underway, including a government housing program to deliver 25,000 new housing units – of which 20,000 have been allocated, and announced during his presentation that the government would allocate an additional 5,000 housing units by the end of this year. He also discussed the Kingdom's new pioneering health insurance law, which will ensure health insurance coverage for all citizens and residents.
The government’s regulatory reforms encourage innovation and private sector growth in the Kingdom. HRH also announced the launch of Sijilat 2.0, an update to the successful online Commercial Registration service launched in May 2016. H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister noted that the success of Sijilat had opened doors to similar streamlined processes in other sectors. In this regard, HRH announced the launch of Binayat , a simplified method for issuing building permits within five days.
H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister then provided an update on the Kingdom’s far-reaching infrastructure program and the enhancement of Bahrain’s logistics offering, with strategic projects including the expansion of Bahrain International Airport , the launch of strategic road network projects, and the construction of King Hamad Causeway. He also spoke about the progress that Bahrain’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority has made.
His Royal Highness noted the Kingdom’s recognition as an international leader in migrant worker protections and combating human trafficking, becoming the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to be granted Tier 1 status in the US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report. The Kingdom has also taken steps to increase employment of Bahraini nationals and received global recognition for its introduction of Flexible Working Permits, which grant expatriates the opportunity to work for more than a single employer at a time.
In conclusion, His Royal Highness emphasized the government's absolute commitment to improving government services continuously. With the launch of Taqyeem (Government Service Centre Evaluation) last year, the government now tracks the Key Performance Indicators (PKIs) for all 89 government service centers. H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister announced that in the first yearly evaluation, ten centers received a ‘Gold classification’ under the Taqyeem system and that results will now be made available to the public on an annual basis.
During the Forum’s second edition, HRH the Prime Minister issued a statement, instructing government officials to build on the achievements delivered under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad, and emphasizing the government’s commitment to overcoming challenges and driving forward further accomplishments.
The Prime Minister stressed on the importance of continuing to evaluate the performance and accountability of government to ensure the best use of its capabilities, resources, and potential, and to be responsive and adaptive to the development needs of the Kingdom’s citizens.
HRH stressed that the Government Forum represents a vital platform to ensure that Bahrain’s citizens remain at the heart of the Kingdom’s development efforts. His Royal Highness noted that the core themes of the 2017 Forum – enhancing government collaboration and improving public services – are central elements of the Kingdom’s vision for a sustainable economy, which supports the aspirations of Bahrain’s citizens. HRH also highlighted that government programs and initiatives are underpinned by Bahrain’s Vision 2030; the Kingdom’s roadmap for a diversified economy led by His Majesty King Hamad. HRH noted that the government’s programs are generating tangible results, maximizing productivity, and ensuring high standards of public services. He also outlined three economic and socio-economic priorities that are being pursued across the government, comprising an increased role for the private sector in driving economic growth; supporting greater innovation and competitiveness; and enhancing citizens’ living standards.
H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister detailed the government's delivery of priority programs while highlighting Bahrain’s Vision 2030 principles of sustainability, competitiveness, and fairness must continue to be in line with every aspect of the nation's development. Moreover, through continuous collaboration with the Bahrain Economic Development Board, the Kingdom has seen an increase in investment of 158% between 2016 – 2017.
The following government initiatives were outlined during the Forum: the launch of a National Strategy for Tourism; this sector has seen a 12.8% increase in visitors in the past year. The adoption of a national plan to revive Bahrain’s traditional pearl industry, and the implementation of the National Renewable Energy Plan, which aims to provide 5% of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2025. As well as the development of a highly modernized power plant and the construction of a 100MW solar power plant.
The reforms also include regulatory changes in the Kingdom’s healthcare and housing systems; which led to the introduction of the National Strategy for Healthcare designed to transform the role of the Ministry of Health from an operator to the main regulator of the sector. Providing a countrywide 25,000 housing unit program, which has already delivered 15,655 units across Bahrain in close collaboration with the private sector.
In addition, a far-reaching program of $32 billion infrastructure projects is already seeing significant progress and driving growth across the country’s oil and gas, logistics, manufacturing, ICT, financial services, and tourism sectors.
HRH concluded by reaffirming the government’s commitment to delivering policies that contribute to the Kingdom’s development program, turning challenges into opportunities, and supporting a modern, progressive economy, which meets the aspirations of the Kingdom’s citizens.
During the first Forum in 2016, the topics discussed included: Bahrain’s Vision 2030 Achievements, Private Sector Role in Driving Growth, Sustainability & Advancing Infrastructure, Enhancing Public Services, and Government Priorities & Bahrain’s Next Phase of Development.
H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister started off with emphasizing that Bahrain’s Vision 2030 , established the principles of sustainability, fairness, and competitiveness as the framework for the development of the economy, and that these principles will continue to underpin efforts to enhance government performance and to translate development goals into tangible results that benefit Bahrain’s citizens.
His Royal Highness also outlined the achievements made that have supported Bahrain’s economic, governmental, and social development. This included continued diversification efforts that have resulted in non-oil sectors now accounting for 80% of GDP, an impressive 28 percent growth in the size of the economy, a threefold increase in international investments into the Kingdom from 2009 to 2014, and a 47 percent increase in the average income of Bahraini families.
Furthermore, concerning government achievements, HRH highlighted the role new regulatory bodies have played in improving the quality of public services provided to citizens, remarking that Bahrain is considered 1st among Arab countries in eGovernment readiness, and has maintained this rank for four consecutive years. Moreover, the decisive steps the government has taken to increase competitiveness and liberalize the telecommunications sector was noted, which has grown to become the leading sector in terms of providing employment opportunities for Bahrainis (67%).
With regards to social development, HRH stressed that the development of five major social housing projects, which have already begun construction that will create the largest number of housing units in Bahrain’s history. Furthermore, HRH emphasized the support provided to Bahrain’s youth and sports sectors, mentioning that 125 sports facilities have been established across the Kingdom, and the successful hosting of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, are other milestones in the country’s youth and sports development.
Three key goals were highlighted by HRH for the country going forward, including:
With regards to specific government actions that will help achieve these goals, H.R.H. the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister welcomed the introduction of four tools:
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Content Last Updated: 01 Jun, 2023
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