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SR 2,400 Expat Fee ‘Will Ease Burden on Local Economy’

Middle East : 01 February 2013

Source: Arab News

The SR 2,400 annual fee for each non-Saudi worker at private companies imposed by the Ministry of Labor will eventually contribute to reducing the burden on the local economy, said Economy and Planning Minister Muhammad Al-Jasser. He was addressing a gathering of businessmen at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI). He also said various authorities such as the Ministry of Labor were striving to streamline labor policies relating to the private sector’s recruitment of expat workers.

These efforts are aimed at preventing the unplanned presence of foreign residents in the Kingdom. For the first time in its history, he said, Saudi Arabia had started to issue quarterly reports of national income as per international standards. The Ministry of Economy and Planning also provides regular updates on domestic economic data, he said. In the Saudi economy, the private and government sectors played mutually beneficial roles with the state regulating the integrated relationship between the two sectors, he said. The Kingdom’s economic strategy is making a strong impact on its development.

“The economic survey the ministry had approved to recognize the volume of the private sector relative to national income showed the private sector is accounted for 58 percent of national income.” Previous surveys (before the one approved by the ministry) showed the private sector’s contribution was no more than 15 percent because several companies and establishments were not included. Al-Jasser expected that more Saudi nationals would own homes as a result of the royal order to build 500,000 residential units. He hoped the real estate mortgage law would strengthen the housing sector. He expects the Saudi economy to grow rapidly this year with inflation rates likely to decrease further.

The minister said he his highly optimistic about the Saudi economy as it provides promising opportunities to private sector enterprises.. It is in a strong position because of massive petroleum and gas resources. The Kingdom’s strategic location, its modern sea and air ports, production capabilities and its strong banking system also boost its global status. The Kingdom provides an attractive environment for enterprises and investment, he said. He stressed the need for a qualitative development of the national work force to increase its productivity and improve its level of competitiveness.

This will make citizens more attractive to expatriate manpower. Achieving competitiveness in production and new achievements are at the heart of the future vision for the Saudi economy. “The vision is not a dream or fantasy. It is goals, policies, programs, projects, and an investment of actual capabilities.”

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