Bahrain posted a budget surplus of $14 million in 2000, the governor of Bahrain's monetary agency, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Muhammad Al-Khalifa, said Wednesday, September 19.
Quoted by the official GNA news agency, Shaikh Ahmad also said the trade balance posted a surplus of $1.08 billion in 2000, up from $441.6 million the previous year. The balance of payments soared to almost $200 million from $25.4 million in 1999, he added.
A financial expert at Gulf International Bank (GIB), Rima Bathia, told AFP that "new legislation recently applied in Bahrain's financial sector and the opening of the economy to foreign investors have contributed to the good performance of the economy."
The oil reserves of Bahrain, the Gulf's banking hub, are drying up, but the country still pumps around 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) and receives the entire output of 140,000 bpd from an offshore field shared with Saudi Arabia.
Although in 1932 it became the first Gulf Arab state to produce oil, Bahrain does not export crude. It only ships products from a 250,000 bpd refinery that is fed by around 200,000 bpd in imports from its Saudi neighbor. ― (AFP, Manama)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )