Riyadh: 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 October 1, as it aims to stimulate the sector and lower the operating costs.
The industrial sector is critical to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s push to diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter away from crude and create millions of jobs for young Saudis.
One of its initiatives, the National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme (NIDLP), aims to draw private sector investments worth $427 billion over the next 10 years.
The Saudi authorities aim to alleviate high unemployment levels among its young population, as the kingdom faces double-digit jobless rate which dropped to 12.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, from 12.3pc in the earlier quarter. In the first quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate reached a record high of 12.9pc, the highest since 1999.