Recruitment of foreign manpower jumps 35% in Saudi Arabia


Gosaibi attributed the increase in recruitment visas to growing development and industrial projects across the Kingdom.

In a statement, he said last year saw the issuance of 1.7 million recruitment visas to the private sector, including domestic servants, as opposed to 1.26 million in 2006. “As many as 1.2 million visas, excluding those of domestic servants, were issued to the private sector in 2007 with an increase of 54.19 percent compared to the previous year,” the minister pointed out.

The tremendous increase in recruitment visas comes in response to the growing demand for skilled foreign manpower to carry out new industrial, educational and real estate projects in various parts of the country and implement the recently launched mega-economic cities in Rabigh, Hail, Madinah and Jizan.

The increase was also a response to the complaints of foreign investors that they had no skilled workers to carry out their projects in the Kingdom.

In statements published recently, Saudi businesswomen said a lack of recruitment visas was one of the main obstacles facing investment projects.

“There are a lot of lucrative business and investment opportunities for women in the Kingdom,” said Hanadi Mirza, a businesswoman. “But the difficulty in receiving licenses and the lack of visas are hindering their investment plans.”

Abdul Wahid Al-Humaid, deputy labor minister for planning and development, said there was a substantial increase in visas issued for skilled professions such as engineers. Of the total visas issued during the year, 48.42 percent were for assistant engineers and 20.57 percent were given for service professions. Some 5,503 visas were issued for construction workers and 396 visas for civil engineers.

Bangladeshis were the largest beneficiaries of the new labor visas as they received 23.60 percent of these visas. Indians were second, receiving 18.61 percent visas while Egyptians got 14.46 percent, Filipinos 11.96 percent and Pakistanis 11.01 percent. Workers in 13 countries received more visas during the month, the deputy minister said.


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