• $22bn to be spent on new projects
  • Projects market remains subdued
  • Private sector encouraged to partner government

Bahrain’s Information Affairs Minister Isa bin Abdulrahman al-Hammadi has revealed the government is planning to develop $22bn-worth of projects across the country.

The projects will include real estate, industries, services, tourism and infrastructure developments, according to the minister, who announced the plans without outlining specific details during a post-cabinet press conference on 2 March.

In the past couple of years, the overall environment for construction and infrastructure in Bahrain has remained subdued as the country’s deteriorating finances make large-scale projects harder to push through.

While hydrocarbons prices have improved in recent weeks, many are expecting a slowdown to continue in the country’s projects market.

Bahrain has delayed its budget announcement until March, and for 2014, the budget breakeven oil price was estimated at $125 a barrel by US ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

The minister also affirmed the government’s focus on partnerships with the private sector to develop public schemes.

Since the end of 2011, projects worth more than $32bn have been put on hold or cancelled in Bahrain, and many of the schemes that remain active face an uncertain future.

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