Sri Lanka has requested the Kingdom to increase the minimum wage of SR900 set for its domestic workers because of the rising cost of living in the island. Thalatha Atukorale, Minister of Foreign Employment, made this request when she met the First Secretary of the Saudi Embassy Misary Al-Thiyabi at her office in Colombo on Thursday. During the discussion with the Saudi official, she pointed out that with the cost of living rising globally, including the Kingdom, the need for a minimum wage has become important to keep up with daily expenses. The minister said there are discrepancies in salaries paid to Lankan expatriate workers by various sponsors while adding that these anomalies could be rectified by introducing a minimum wage. She has conveyed to the Saudi envoy, the desire of the government to begin talks with the relevant authorities in the Kingdom on the above issue. According to Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment sources, the First Secretary has responded positively to the minister’s request and has said he would take steps to facilitate such talks. Saudi Arabia currently employs the highest contingent of Lankan expatriate workers numbering over 500,000. This is close to one third of the country’s total migrant worker population. According to an official from the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) , the minimum age limit for housemaids traveling to the Kingdom is 25. He said that housemaids who come for foreign employment are given a 21-day residential training course before being posted to overseas stations.
Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse
The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower
Updated 12 December 2018
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.
The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON).
With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.
SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.
Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases.
The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment.
What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits.
“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.
SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion.
The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others.
Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run.
“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.
“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”
The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.
Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”