UAE provides AED12.5 bn in support of Bahrain’s Fiscal Balance Programme

ABU DHABI, The United Arab Emirates has signed a financial cooperation agreement worth AED12.5 billion (US$3.4 billion) with the Government of Bahrain to support the financial stability of the country and stimulate its economic growth. The contribution will be managed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid.

The AED12.5 billion from the UAE falls within the framework of the Bahraini government’s approved fiscal balance programme, which aims to achieve a balance between the government revenues and expenditure in accordance with performance criteria and stipulated indicators for implementation by 2022.

The UAE’s commitment, along with those of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, is about US$10.233 billion, in equal shares disbursed over five years (2018-2022). The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), has been designated as the programme consultant.

The agreement was signed by Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Bahraini Minister of Finance, and Dr Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al Humaidi, Director General and Chairman of the AMF. Several senior officials from the Bahraini government were in attendance.

Al Tayer said that the UAE government’s contribution to the fiscal balance programme is based on the strong historic bonds of friendship that exist between the UAE and Bahrain and is in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

He added that this contribution is a result of the brotherly ties, constructive cooperation, and mutual goals the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) share, and is aligned with the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership to support the financial and economic stability of Bahrain.

He also reiterated that the UAE is keen to support the people of Bahrain and help them overcome financial challenges through implementing sustainable development plans to ultimately achieve long-term prosperity.

For his part, Sheikh Khaled bin Abdulla Al Khalifa extended his appreciation for the support from Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, pointing out their unwavering commitment across various levels.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohamed Al Khalifa presented the details of the financial balance programme, explaining the initiatives that aim to reduce the government’s operating expenses and enhance the efficiency of government spending. He added that this programme will require all parties to work together in achieving financial sustainability for the government.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “The AED12.5 billion contribution from the UAE, managed by ADFD, will support the Bahraini government in realising its vision for development and progress, in addition to ensuring a balance between revenues and expenditure in the next five years.”

Al Suwaidi added, “We are proud of the strong synergies ADFD shares with the Bahraini government. The Fund’s contribution to the development of Bahrain dates back to 1974, when it managed a UAE government allocation of AED10.5 billion towards the implementation of 26 development projects in Bahrain.”

Notably, ADFD has also coordinated the 2012 UAE government grant allocation of AED9.19 billion (US$2.5 billion) as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) development programme for Bahrain.

Source: Emirates News Agency