A nation with resolve can keep going undaunted, and can keep its momentum unimpeded.
When the leadership has a clear vision for collective growth, and when the people have a firm focus on conquering future, the country can keep-up its onward march, unhindered.
Now, as we celebrate the Kingdom of Bahrain’s 43rd National Day, we must applaud, therefore, the resoluteness and fortitude for which this country is now becoming known.
Despite disturbances from within the nation, and despite doubts from skeptics from international quarters, the fourth parliamentary elections were successfully held in November 2014.
And a new cabinet of 17 ministers is now announced, after some portfolios were merged and others dropped. And the plans for future keep getting aligned with the government’s Economic Vision 2030.
Political stability, economic growth, infrastructural development, educational advancement, social order are all but a few indicators that show that this small nation can realize big dreams.
Bahrain is ranked 41st among 179 countries in the global 2014 Human Development Index (HDI) by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In fact, Bahrain has gone up from the previous ranking at 43rd position.
Bahrain is ranked 9th among 20 countries in the 2014 annual Index of Economic Freedom in the Arab World, by the Fraser Institute.
Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) won the Best Regulator of the Year award in the 8th edition of the annual CommsMEA Awards in December 2013.
And this was won for the fourth time! And despite having tough rival-regulators in the region from economic power houses like Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Bahrain provides, perhaps, the cheapest Internet in the region, and has the broadest internet penetration.
The United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union’s development index is considered a valuable tool for measuring information society and digital divides. Bahrain is ranked 27 out of 166 countries on ICT Development Index (IDI) 2013, even ahead of Spain, Israel, UAE and Saudi Arabia. It went up here too, from its rank of 28 the previous year.
Again, the Financial Times named Manama a top 10 “Global City of the Future” in its annual report released this month.
With health, education, housing and telecommunication on the development path, with rapid growth in the non-oil sector, with robust oil and aluminum sectors, with increasing MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry and with continued growth of tourism industry, we can firmly say that Bahrain is having a strong foothold in the GCC region when it comes to economic foundation.
Look at this year 2014 itself. Bahrain’s economy experienced a pronounced acceleration in growth during second quarter of 2014, thanks to the increased activity in the non-hydrocarbon sector as well as some unexpectedly high output gains in the hydrocarbon sector, as given in the Bahrain Economic Quarterly issue of September 2014.
The Kingdom’s real GDP growth of 5.6% during the second quarter is in sharp contrast to the 3.2% pace recorded during the first three months of this year.
While I hate to throw these figures, I must admit these are the real indicators and are needed to prove the point.
And the point is this. Bahrain is not lying low and not merely watching the big world.
It is flying high, and it is reaching for the world.