BAHRAIN

Statement

by

His Excellency Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa
Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, State of Bahrain

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
22nd March 2002



It gives me great pleasure to participate in this very important Conference as the representative of the Kingdom of Bahrain. 

One of the most important results of globalization is that the process of economic development has lost its full local characteristics and has become global. This makes it incumbent on all actors involved in the development of the global economy developed countries and international organizations to cooperate in making the process of sustainable development for developing countries successful and preventing failures in one country from having an impact on another. 

This will not be achieved unless every State implements cohesive and diverse policies and measures, including in particular adopting appropriate macroeconomic policies, assuring good governance on the microeconomic and macroeconomic levels, working for political stability and social peace, spreading a social safety net, which would protect vulnerable sectors of society, protecting society from upheavals and removing all restrictions on business, particularly on the private sector. This would encourage investment, particularly foreign direct investment, and help develop the banking and financial sectors and human resources.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is considered one of the more open societies in the area of liberalizing economic policies. Bahrain always occupies the first position in the area of developing resources according to United Nations reports. Moreover, the Kingdom of Bahrain was one of the first countries to enact laws to combat money laundering. There is a law being issued at this moment to combat terrorism and cut off its funding.

What is required from developing countries in the area of economic development is a prerequisite to combating poverty and bringing about sustainable development. But this is not enough in light of the recent developments and in the absence of adequate support from the international community, as experience has shown. I mean by the international community, in particular the group of developed countries and international organizations. We call on the developed countries to play a very important and large role in the development of developing countries. This requires increasing the technical and financial support that they give to developing countries to the agreed-upon level of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Product. Given that this rate is not enough to confront the increasing burdens of financing development in developing countries, a reasonable level of foreign direct investment should be directed to developing countries. The most important contribution that developed countries could provide to financing development in developing countries is to open their markets to their products, particularly manufactured products. Developed countries should make greater efforts to help developing countries and forgive the debts of the least developed highly indebted poor countries.

The role that we expect the developed countries to play in the financing of development in developing countries would be more effective and beneficial if coordination occurs between the developed countries and international organizations. Coordination of efforts of different parties is needed to further economic development, alleviate poverty and spur growth. The International Monetary Fund in particular has a very important role to play in bringing about international financial stability, improving global economic governance, bolstering global crisis management through an early-warning system, refining performance criteria and coordinating the efforts of various oversight bodies on economic activities. The International Monetary Fund should also secure the flow of short-term capital needed to finance development in developing countries.

As for the World Bank, it should increase its volume of development and financial assistance to developing countries and alleviate the terms of borrowing as much as possible. It should also cancel debt when possible. 

As for the World Trade Organization, we support the idea that it should devote time for collective global negotiations on the problems of development and financing for development in particular. Focusing on the problem of pricing the primary commodities and raw materials and opening the markets of developed countries to the products of developing countries and dealing with protectionism as well as giving concessionary financing to developing countries. 

These three organizations should implement a variety of solutions to the problems of foreign debt burden and external trade and the problems concerning regulating control, including transparency and developing financing control, within the competence of each organization to establish new mechanisms to follow up the implementation of conference decisions and recommendations in the area of financing development, each in its competence. 

Finally, there is the importance of partnerships between developed countries and developing countries in structural readjustment and maintaining the directives to international organizations so that developed countries do not monopolize this. The developing countries should positively participate in this process so that the new directions of international organizations are more effective and would give greater momentum and real support to the process of development. This requires from the governments of the developing countries to be up to undertaking their responsibility of fulfilling their duty in this area.


* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.

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