Saudi Arabia ranks as the world’s second-largest source of remittances behind the United States from 2002 to 2011, according to a local economist.
Fadi bin Abdullah Al-Ajajji said the United States ranked first in expatriate money transfers, with an average of $48 billion a year.
Saudi Arabia came second with an average of $19.5 billion (SR73 billion), Switzerland third with an average of $17.2 billion, Germany with $14 billion, Russia with $13.4 billion and Spain with $10.3 billion.
Total cash transfers for expatriates rose by 138.7 percent between 2002 and 2011 to reach $339.6 billion (SR1.3 trillion) in 2011. The United States registered the highest numbers in foreign labor cash transfers in 2011 with $51.6 billion, Switzerland with $30.8 billion, and Saudi Arabia in third with $28.5 billion, said Al-Ajajji.
In the Arabian Gulf, Kuwait was second to the Kingdom with total cash transfers reaching $11.8 billion in 2011. Oman followed with $7.2 billion and Bahrain with $2 billion. There was no available data for expatriate transfers in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, added Al-Ajajji.
Money transfers for expatriate workers and contractors in the Kingdom registered their highest levels in 2012 to reach $35.9 billion (SR135.1 billion), an increase of 11.5 percent over the previous year.
During the first half of 2013, total expatriate transfers reached $20.9 billion (SR78.5 billion), an increase of $2.4 billion (SR9.3 billion) over the same period last year, which indicates that there would be record transfers for 2013, he said.
Between June 2012 and June 2013, the total value of transfers reached $38.3 billion (SR144.4 billion).