Saudi Interior Ministry: 7,500 residency and labor law violators arrested in one day

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Turki (4th from right) and other officials announce the crackdown on residency violators during a press briefing on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (SPA)
Updated 17 November 2017
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Saudi Interior Ministry: 7,500 residency and labor law violators arrested in one day

JEDDAH: Some 7,500 violators of residency and labor laws have been arrested on the first day after the grace period ended.
According to the Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, the campaign not only targeted those who had no residence permits but also those whose residency documents had expired.
“The concerned authorities started chasing the violators of residency and labor laws on Thursday, Al-Turki said. “It also focused on Saudis who hire illegal residents.” Al-Turki said that the grace period had lasted for eight months, and was extended more than once after some embassies called for extra time for their nationals to correct their situations based on certain agreements and conditions.
Al-Turki said that the ministry did not look at violators as criminals but asked them to get exit visas immediately and leave the country as soon as possible.
The ministry had worked with different authorities to make the campaign a success. “We are ready and we will not stop until we make sure that our goal has been achieved,” the spokesman said.
He added that the law did not make a distinction between Saudis and expats. “The campaign targets violators of labor and residency laws whether they are Saudis or foreigners. All Saudis and legal residents are required to abide by the country’s labor and residency regulations and rules,” he said.
Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, spokesman for the General Directorate of Passports, said that his departments were working around the clock to enforce the campaign.
Col. Sami Al-Shuwairikh, representing Public Security, said that some 7,500 violators had been caught. He said that Saudi nationals and legal residents have been asked to report violators by calling 911 in the Makkah region and 999 in other parts of the Kingdom.
Khalid Aba Al-Khail, spokesman for the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, said the campaign was a national task that would have many positive effects for the country.
“We have some 800 inspectors whose job is to scrutinize markets and make sure that all workers are officially permitted.” Labor law violators were being taken into custody every day, he said.
Border Guards spokesman Col. Sahir Al-Harbi said they had foiled more than 21,000 attempts to illegally enter the Kingdom. He said that 872 residency violators had tried to leave the country illegally.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.