Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has around seven million foreign workers who are sending home 70 billion riyals ($18.6 billion) a year, a senior Saudi official said in a newspaper report published Saturday, April 21.
"There are seven million foreign workers in the kingdom. Their total remittances every year reach 70 billion riyals. This sum will drop once more nationals enter the market," Social Affairs and Labor Minister Ali Al-Namlah told Okaz daily.
The Saudi government has launched a campaign to reduce the number of expatriates in the country by hiking fees on their recruitment and offering incentives for nationals to work in the private sector.
The fees will go into a special fund that has been set up to help "nationalize" jobs in the kingdom, whose population of Saudi nationals stands at around 16 million. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)