Bahrain's Finance Minister calls for more development help from World Bank

Bahrain’s Minister of Finance Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa recently called for faster implementation of development goals at Development Committee meetings held during the annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank gatherings in Lima, Peru.

In his statement to the Development Committee, the Al Khalifa called for accelerated realization of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, while building upon the progress and strengths of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

At the meeting, Al Khalifa represented a consortium of Middle Eastern economies; his statement was delivered on behalf of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The Finance Minister commended the large-scale efforts exerted by the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in proceeding with economic development efforts despite large challenges.

He also welcomed the World Bank’s strategy for the MENA region, which involves capacity building and regional integration. The World Bank’s plan also calls for further support in implementing reforms while ensuring adequate financing and quality technical assistance.

To make those goals a reality, Al Khalifa argued that the World Bank needs to support the ongoing efforts of MENA countries in both domestic resource mobilization and public financial management. Enhancing the financial sector in the region will also be necessary to attract private capital, he said.

Ultimately, the World Bank's support for improving the business environment would enhance regional access to financing which would in turn promote small businesses in the region Al Khalifa said.

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