Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Board Chairman of the Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa expected the kingdom\'s economy to grow by 5 % in 2012, noting that the pace of growth will be faster in the coming year. In an interview with \"Al Watan\" newspaper, published today, Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa said that BDB has spent a total of BD 215.4 million on medium and small projects, stressing that the bank has adopted new economic concepts in order to keep abreast of the modern economic openness, which, he asserted has enabled it to face all the accelerating challenges. He also pointed out that BDB has contributed a lot to the kingdom\'s economic development, explaining that it has created 20,000 job opportunities, earned BD 70 million of hard currency through its funded projects and helped increase Bahrain\'s exports. Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa also indicated that BDB\'s 2012 comprehensive strategy aims to create a secure investment atmosphere that can enable business entrepreneurs to make optimum benefits. He also said that the bank has allocated equal support to empower Bahraini women, adding that it has funded women projects with BD 16 million. Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa also indicated that the bank has set up an independent unit charged with women projects and established, in cooperation with the Supreme Council for women (SCW) a centre for developing Bahraini women capabilities.