Nitaqat brings down cost of hiring expats

Updated 28 June 2013
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Nitaqat brings down cost of hiring expats

Businessmen estimate that the residency correction period has helped save companies SR 10,000 on each foreign worker. This involves the cost of new visas, travel costs and recruitment fees.
According to official Labor Ministry figures, the status of 1.5 million foreign workers has been rectified and that the campaign has saved Saudi companies and institutions around SR 15 billion.
The Job Status Correction Fair at Riyadh Exhibition Center witnessed huge numbers of foreign laborers bidding to find employment at foreign embassies according to the cooperation agreement with Riyadh Chamber in this regard.
However, the majority seemed to express dissatisfaction at the salaries they were offered — between SR1,000 and SR1,200 in the construction business. Some laborers said they had been earning five times more in the past.
Surinder Bhagat, second secretary of politics and commerce at the Indian Embassy, said 100,000 workers have rectified their status so far in both Riyadh and Jeddah. He added that his embassy is ready to correct the status of any number of Indian laborers in the coming few days.
Muhammad Mizan, second secretary at the Bangladesh Embassy, said it is difficult to determine the exact number of Bangladeshi laborers whose status has so far been corrected. He added that the campaign presents an excellent opportunity for illegal Bangladeshi workers to rectify their status and work in the Kingdom.
Speaking about the Egyptian experience, Amro Imad Al-Najdi, an official at the Egyptian Embassy’s labor section, said two meetings have been held between illegal workers and a number of major Saudi companies. He added that this has resulted in rectifying the status of a great number of them and that the campaign is a brilliant opportunity for employment and recruitment.


Iraqi delegation in Riyadh cements ties with Saudi Arabia

Updated 12 min 2 sec ago
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Iraqi delegation in Riyadh cements ties with Saudi Arabia

  • First Iraqi bank branch opened in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A large Iraqi delegation, featuring government departments and representatives from the private sector, has arrived in Saudi Arabia to take part in a host of events, talks and opening ceremonies to cement ties between the two nations.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was greeted by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and held high-level talks with both on a number of topics, ranging from bilateral cooperation in defense to shared investment projects. 

He also met with the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, who congratulated him on the recent defeat of the militant group Daesh by Iraqi and coalition forces.

Abdul Mahdi was also the guest of honor at the opening ceremony of a major exhibition, “Age Old Cities Destroyed by Terrorism,” at the National Museum in Riyadh.

Abdul Mahdi later signed a number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and briefly joined discussions between his country’s oil ministry and the Kingdom’s minister of commerce and investment, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, before leaving Riyadh for an official visit to Jeddah.

Elsewhere, there were a number of bilateral departmental meetings between Iraqi and Saudi government ministers to discuss various areas of mutual interest and cooperation.

Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Ali Al-Hakim met with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir; Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh, the Kingdom’s education minister, held talks with Iraq’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr. Qusay Abdul Wahab Al-Suhail; and there were further meetings between other ministries concerning energy, agriculture, infrastructure, food and health.

The visit also saw important developments in the financial relations between the two states, as Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) became the first Iraqi bank to open a branch in Saudi Arabia after unveiling its first foreign premises in Riyadh on Thursday.

The branch office in Al-Olayya district was officially opened by Fuad Hussein, Iraq’s deputy prime minister. He was joined at the ceremony by Ahmed Al-Khulaifi, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, and Faisal Al-Haimus, chairman of TBI.

The bank was established shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the US-led coalition, whose provisional authorities used it to facilitate stagnant trade and kickstart the economy following the conclusion of initial hostilities and the start of the occupation, coupled with the end of the UN’s 1995 Oil-for-Food Programme. Around 80 percent of TBI is controlled by the Iraqi government.

“This is a hugely significant day for the financial sector of Iraq and the country as a whole,” said Hussein. “This is an important step toward reinforcing our relationship with the Saudi government, and we look forward to advancing bilateral ties between our countries.”

Speaking to Arab News, Al-Haimus said: “This is a very important step, as all trade between any two countries requires financing. Our Riyadh branch will provide the funds and assistance to facilitate that trade, and will increase the present level, currently around $500 million annually, to about $4 billion by next year.”