Bahrain Plans $30 Billion Investment as It Balances Its Budget
(Bloomberg) -- Bahrain unveiled a new economic growth plan targeting $30 billion 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 Persian Gulf nation aims to create more than 20,000 jobs annually for citizens by 2024 and attract $2.5 billion 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 $10 billion package pledged by rich neighbors in 2018. In an effort to boost revenue, it plans to double its value-added tax to 10%, the highest rate after Saudi Arabia.
The International Monetary Fund sees Bahrain’s budget shortfall equalling 8% of economic output this year, less than half of last year’s 18% 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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