Saudi expat remittances up 18pc
Riyadh, February 2, 2014
Foreign remittance by expats in Saudi Arabia reached SR148 billion ($14.7 billion) last year, up 18 per cent compared to 2012, said a report.
Personal foreign remittances of Saudis and expats reached SR226.6 billion in 2013, up 16.5 per cent compared to 2012, the highest in 20 years, said the Arab News report.
Foreign remittances by non-Saudis for travel purposes decreased 74 per cent to SR386 million against SR1.5 billion in 2012, it said.
Since the introduction of the Nitaqat nationalisation programme in 2011, the foreign remittances of expats have reached SR383.6 billion, a 57.8 per cent jump compared to the previous 10 year, said the report.
“Expats should not be blamed for these transfers as it is their right,” Abdul Hameed Al-Omari, a member of the Saudi Economic Association, was quoted as saying.
“If we want to blame someone for the danger it has posed to the economy, it should be government departments, especially the Labour Ministry and big companies,” he said.
The ministry’s efforts to discourage expats to bring families would increase foreign remittances further and reduce their spending in the kingdom, he pointed out.