Saudi decision to waive fees to impact over 700,000 expats in industrial sector

The move aims to stimulate the sector and lower the operating costs

  
Foreign labourers work at a construction site in Riyadh. REUTERS/Abdullah Shadeed

Foreign labourers work at a construction site in Riyadh. REUTERS/Abdullah Shadeed

REUTERS/Abdullah Shadeed

Saudi Arabia’s decision to bear the cost of fees for expatriate workers on behalf of industrial institutions will impact near 712,902 non-Saudis working in the manufacturing and mining sectors, the latest official statistics show.

According to the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, there are 644,590 non-Saudi workers employed in the manufacturing sector, and 68,312 in mining and quarrying sector, at the end of the first half of 2019.

Earlier this week, the Saudi government announced the waiver of fees on non-Saudi workers in the industrial sector for five years, starting Octoboer 1, 2019, as it aims to stimulate the sector and lower the operating costs.

The Saudi kingdom identified the industrial sector as a key area for development and diversification of the economy away from oil in its economic overhaul plan Vision 2030. One of its programs, The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), aims to draw private sector investments worth $427 billion over the next ten years. Read more here:

The Saudi authorities aim to alleviate the high unemployment levels among its young population, as the kingdom faces double-digit jobless rate which dropped to 12.3 percent in the second quarter of 2019, from 12.3 percent in the earlier quarter. In the first quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate reached a record high of 12.9 percent,  the highest since 1999. Read more here:

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© ZAWYA 2019

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