HRH Crown Prince chairs weekly Cabinet meeting

Manama, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, today chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Gudaibiya Palace.

Following the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary-General, HE Dr. Yasser bin Issa Al-Nasser, made the following remarks:

HRH the Crown Prince welcomed the delegations participating in the second edition of the Bahrain International Defence Exhibition and Conference (BIDEC 2019), which was inaugurated today, under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

HRH the Crown Prince noted the importance of holding such exhibitions in the Kingdom, adding that Bahrain has become the centre for business tourism and international forums, and is increasingly a hub for investment in advanced industries and technology.

HRH the Crown Prince then briefed the Cabinet on the outcomes of his visit to Japan, including his attendance at the Japanese Emperor’s Enthronement Ceremony, as well as his meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, HE Shinzo Abe. In this regard, the Cabinet noted the importance of the visit in further strengthening bilateral cooperation and coordination efforts. The Cabinet praised the strength of Bahrain-Japan ties, and welcomed the commitment of both countries to further enhance relations across various sectors.

HRH the Crown Prince then went on to praise the Kingdom’s recent sporting successes, which include victory at the World Military Football Championship, which was held during at the 2019 Military World Games in China, and the national men’s handball team qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In this regard, HRH the Crown Prince highlighted the efforts of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, chaired by HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and lauded the many global achievements of the Kingdom’s youth and athletes.

The Cabinet went on to praise the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the support of the United Arab Emirates, in the arrangement of the Riyadh Agreement between Yemen’s government and the Southern Transitional Council, which reflects their commitment to establishing safety, stability and unity within Yemen.

A number of submissions, memorandums and proposed laws were discussed during the meeting. The Cabinet outlined the following outcomes:

1. The Cabinet reviewed the draft media law, submitted by the Ministerial Committee for Social, Telecommunications, Media and Youth Affairs, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, HH Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. The draft law relates to the technical aspects of the organisation of the press and media. The Minister of Information Affairs also briefed the Cabinet, detailing the coordination which has taken place so far to bring the draft law to this stage, as well as the important work of the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs in this regard. The Cabinet decided to complete reviewing the draft law in its next meeting.

2. The Cabinet reviewed a report regarding the Kingdom’s performance in the Doing Business 2020 report, published by the World Bank, which was presented by the Minister of Finance and National Economy.

The report outlined the Kingdom’s inclusion among the top ten most improved economies internationally in terms of ease of doing business. The Kingdom is now ranked second in the Arab world and 43rd globally, up 19 places from 62nd place the year before. The report documents the most important measures implemented across ten categories, and compared 190 global economies over a 12 month period ending in May 2019. The Kingdom’s final Doing Business score of 76 is the highest achieved since the World Bank begin issuing its annual report.

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s implementation of a record number of regulatory measures has resulted in a more improved business environment and international recognition. The measures include issuance of new law on insolvency and reorganisational procedures, as well as strengthening the protections of minority investors and streamlining construction permit issuance through a new online platform. Additional measures include the creation of a specialised commercial court, establishing time standards for key court events and introducing an electronic service for court summonses.

3. The Cabinet approved an agreement to be signed by the Ministry of Interior, represented by Bahrain’s Custom Affairs, regarding a cooperation agreement with Saudi Customs on the mutual recognition of the economic operator programs adopted by both entities. The agreement, submitted by the Minister of Interior, aims to enhance joint cooperation and coordination between the customs departments of the two countries, and follow recommendations made by the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs, which were presented by the Minister of Education, the Deputy Chairman of the committee.

4. The Cabinet approved a charter of cooperation between OPEC member states and non-OPEC producers regarding oil production and consumption, authorising the Minister of Oil to sign the charter. The decision follows the recommendations made by the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs, which were presented by the Minister of Education, Deputy Chairman of the committee. The charter aims to further strengthen cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC producers by establishing regular consultative meetings. The agreement will serve to coordinate policies and stabilize global oil markets in the interests of the producers, consumers and the global economy.

5. The Cabinet followed up on 115 projects that are under implementation, worth BHD 371 million, across three sectors (Roads network, Sanitation, and Construction), based on a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning. The Cabinet reviewed the issued tenders and awarded tenders, during this year.

The Cabinet decided to complete its review during its next meeting, following HRH the Crown Prince’s directives in this regard.

6. The Cabinet reviewed and approved a memorandum, submitted by the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, regarding the executive work program between the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication and the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority, aimed at further improving air navigation performance between the two countries.

7. In accordance with constitutional and legal procedures, the Cabinet referred two memorandums to the Council of Representatives following the issuance of two draft laws by the Shura Council. The first memorandum regards a draft law amending some provisions of Decree-Law No. (15) for the year 2002 regarding the Shura Council and House of Representatives. The second relates to a draft law covering municipal council member elections.

The Cabinet then reviewed four Ministerial reports, two of which were submitted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and related to the outcomes of the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of Non-Aligned Countries in Baku, Azerbaijan. The summit was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of HM the King. The Second report outlined the outcomes of the Munich Security Conference recently held in Cairo, Egypt.

The third report was submitted by the Minister of Finance and National Economy, and related to the outcomes of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund which took place in Washington D.C., USA.

The Fourth report was submitted by the Minister of Works, Municipality Affairs and Urban Planning, and related to the outcomes of 22nd meeting of the Ministers of Municipalities Affairs of the GCC, which was held in Muscat, Oman.

Source: Bahrain News Agency