KSA’s green card plan for expats welcomed

Updated 24 April 2016
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KSA’s green card plan for expats welcomed

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s plan to issue permanent residence or “green cards” to foreign workers has been warmly welcomed by the expatriate community.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman disclosed plans for issuing such cards similar to the US green card system that allows hiring more foreign workers for a fee.
The plan will abolish the existing sponsorship system for holders, who will be required to pay zakat and value-added taxes, if any, besides premiums on insurance, etc. They can own property and undertake commercial, industrial and related activities.
“The plan is very welcome for those living here for over 40 years. I would also suggest that naturalization be given to those who have at least one child willing to serve in the armed forces in any capacity,” said Amir Qayyum, a business development executive from India.
“This is actually in recognition of the universal human rights of residency. We are glad to see the host government extending such a privilege to deserving expats,” said John Monterona, convener of the new OFW Forces Worldwide.
A senior systems engineer at Tawuniya, Saleh Ampaso Bucay, who has been working here since 1992, described the move as a dream come true.
“I am just like many other expatriates who have spent more than half of their lives in this country. All my children were born here. So it is really a great honor if this privilege of either permanent residence or a green card is granted to us,” Bucay observed.
He added that as a Muslim, it will also be a great opportunity to work hand in hand with the citizens in developing the country and protecting it from the enemies of Islam. “I love this country and would like to die and be buried here,” he said.
Gilbert G. Alarcon, senior ISO system auditor at Dar Arriyadh Consultants, said it is a good development as expats already consider Saudi Arabia their second home. “The feeling of acceptance in retrospect gives more meaning to an already fruitful partnership and cooperation between the citizens and expats.”
Rey Eduard Quiblat Umel, an architect and a project engineer, termed King Salman’s wisdom and vision “very exemplary.” The Saudi-Philippine partnership will increase by leaps and bounds, boosting the development of their peoples, he said.
“This will also help the Kingdom’s economy and increase its revenues. It will bolster their manpower without relying on oil,” said Jehad Zacaria Pangcoga, from the Philippines.


China’s Belt and Road Initiative consistent with Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, says Chinese envoy

Updated 22 min 36 sec ago
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China’s Belt and Road Initiative consistent with Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, says Chinese envoy

RIYADH: Chinese Ambassador Chen Weiqing said his country’s Belt and Road Initiative is consistent with the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, and he praised communication between the two countries.

“China and the Kingdom are among the leading forces of dialogue among civilizations,” Chen said during an iftar at his home. 

“We join our two countries in promoting security and stability in the region, and the whole world, through dialogue among civilizations. We strive for the integrated aspiration of mankind.”

Chen, who was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia This month, said: “Cooperation between China and the Kingdom enjoys the characteristics of strategy, harmony and mutual benefit.”

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing last month, and a Saudi delegation attended.

It was a chance for countries to pitch for investment in a massive infrastructure project aimed at connecting China with the rest of the world.

“Saudi Arabia has applied economic and social reforms over the past few years, and has made significant progress toward achieving its goals,” Chen said.