Bahrain had last year awarded 1,688 tenders worth $4.1 billion compared to $4.8 billion in 2019 despite the difficult economic conditions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new data released by Bahrain’s Tender Board.
In terms of value of contracts, the oil sector dominated the list with 228 tenders worth $1.6 billion followed by the construction and engineering industry with 317 tenders worth a combined $875.7 million, clearly underscoring the government’s continued commitment to its extensive pipeline of major infrastructure projects, currently valued at some $32 billion.
Bahrain Tender Board said the third on the list was the aviation sector with $638.2 million followed by the materials and equipment sector with $606.1 million and finally the services sector, which saw a total of $424.8 million worth of tenders.
While bringing up the rear in terms of value of contracts, the services sector was awarded the highest number of contracts, at 599, said the report.
According to the Tender Board, the Ministry of Health (MoH) saw a sizable increase over last year – both in terms of number of tenders issued and value of tenders. In 2019 it had awarded 93 tenders, valued at some $123.8 million, while last year, its tally rose to 137 tenders valued at $298.1 million – a near threefold increase in value.
This surge in spending is mainly due to the Bahrain’s robust and rapid Covid-19 response on many fronts, including a track and trace app, extensive testing, vaccinations, hospital robots, car park conversions to hospitals and more, it stated.
The positive figures follow closely on from the release of equally encouraging data highlights a record number of tenders awarded to the SME sector during 2020 worth a total of $145.4 million, indicative of government support for a sector that it regards as the engine for post-Covid economic recovery.
Tender Board Chairman Sheikh Nayef Bin Khalid Al Khalifa said:
“2020 has proven one of the most challenging and unpredictable years globally for businesses in all sectors across the board. Despite these less than friendly conditions, throughout the year, Bahrain has awarded an impressive 1,688 contracts valued at well over $4 billion.”
“This dynamic performance is indicative of Bahrain’s commitment and ability to remain open for business even in times of crisis,” he noted.
“The kingdom’s extensive, multi-billion-dollar pipeline of infrastructure projects was a case in point, and had driven the consistently high value of contracts in its thriving construction and engineering sector throughout the year,” he added.
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The Arab states of the Persian Gulf are the seven Arab states which border the Persian Gulf, namely Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).This excludes the non-Arab state of Iran. All of these nations except Iraq are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).