Expat remittances in Saudi up 19%, with per capita annual transfer hitting nearly $6,400 in 2020

Foreign remittances last year accounted for 11.3% of the private sector’s gross domestic product, exceeding $346bln

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. High Angle View Of Hands With Money Over Wooden Table. Photo Taken In Malaysia, Petaling Jaya

Image used for illustrative purpose. High Angle View Of Hands With Money Over Wooden Table. Photo Taken In Malaysia, Petaling Jaya

Getty Images

RIYADH Remittances from expatriates in Saudi Arabia recorded an increase of 19.25 percent during the year 2020. The average annual expatriate remittances in the Kingdom jumped to about SR23,910 during the same year as compared to SR19,124 a year before.

According to the statistical figures from the Saudi Central Bank and the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), foreign remittances last year accounted for 11.3 percent of the private sector’s gross domestic product (GDP), exceeding SR1.3 trillion.

The report showed that there were 6.27 million social insurance subscribers in the Kingdom’s private employment market, in addition to 49,599 in the government sector at the end of 2020, while the total remittances of expatriates amounted to SR149.69 billion during the year. During the last year, foreign remittances increased by 19.25 percent on an annual basis as compared to SR125.53 billion in 2019.

The number of expatriate social insurance subscribers in the private sector fell to 6,254,660 at the end of the first quarter of 2021, compared to 6,273,354 subscribers at the end of 2020. During 2019, the average expatriate remittances in the Kingdom amounted to about SR19,124, while the number of expatriate workers in the private sector reached 6,536,072 subscribers, in addition to 50,594 male and female employees in the government sector.

Expatriate remittances in the Kingdom recorded a jump of 13.95 percent during the first five months of 2021 on an annual basis, with an increase of SR7.74 billion compared to the same period last year. The total remittances rose to SR63.22 billion, compared to SR55.48 billion in the same period in 2020. The average foreign transfers amounted to about SR10,725 in the first five months of the current year.

The percentage of expatriate transfers from the GDP to the private sector during the last five years ranged between 9.4 percent to 11.7 percent and recorded about 11.7 percent in 2015 of the private sector’s output, then 11.3 percent and 10.6 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively, reaching 10.5 percent in 2018 and 9.4 percent in 2019, and 11.3 percent last year.

According to the report, the total expatriate transfers during the first five months of 2021 reached SR63.218 billion. The monthly breakup of the transfers is the following: January SR12.057 billion; February SR11.302 billion; March SR14.049 billion; April SR13.279 billion; and May SR12.531 billion.

 

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