Riyals take wings: With $44bn remittances, KSA leads Gulf states

Updated 12 June 2015
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Riyals take wings: With $44bn remittances, KSA leads Gulf states

JEDDAH: Foreigners working in the Gulf states sent home more than $100 billion in remittances last year, an economic report showed Tuesday.
The figure was twice as high as remittances in 2010, an indication of strong growth, the head of economic research at Kuwait Financial Center (Markaz), Raghu Mandagoathur, said in the report.
Around 25 million expats live in the six Gulf states — equal to the native population.
The remittances are estimated at 6.2 percent of the combined GDP of the GCC states of $1.6 trillion, the report said, citing IMF and World Bank figures.
In comparison, foreigners in the US and Britain sent home just 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent of GDP, respectively, it said.
Saudi Arabia topped the list with its estimated 10 million expats sending home $44 billion, followed by UAE with $29 billion.
Remittances from Kuwait and Qatar were $12 billion and $9.5 billion, respectively, while smaller transfers were made out of Oman and Bahrain, the report said.
The majority of Gulf expatriates originate from India, Egypt, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Yemen.
The report advised GCC states to encourage expatriates to invest by launching specialized services and opening up their markets to foreign residents, especially the real estate sector. It said: “GCC countries can start opening up their markets to foreigners, especially expats. Real estate is a great example of an untapped opportunity.
“Investment by expatriates should be differentiated from foreign investment, as the former provides a more stable source of investment given the length of time they spend in the region.”
But the toughest obstacle would be reaching out to low-wage workers, who constitute the bulk of remittances, said Raghu Mandagolathur, who authored the report.
An employer engagement strategy can be implemented to tap into this segment, he added.
“Remittances offer a low hanging fruit to GCC governments to implement strategies that can stem and reverse the flow. It is in the long-term interest of GCC countries to reduce at least some of them through proper incentives and investment opportunities,” the report added.


Abdul-Mahdi: Relations between Iraq and GCC ‘must progress’

Updated 18 April 2019
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Abdul-Mahdi: Relations between Iraq and GCC ‘must progress’

  • Abdul-Mahdi and Al-Zayani discussed the development of relations between Iraq and GCC countries and issues of mutual interest
  • Abdul-Mahdi also attended the Saudi-Iraqi Business Forum, which included representatives from large Saudi companies

RIYADH: Relations between Iraq and the Gulf Cooperation Council are important and “must progress, ” Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said on Thursday.
On the second day of his visit to Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Mahdi met with the secretary general of the GCC, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani in Riyadh.
Abdul-Mahdi and Al-Zayani discussed the development of relations between Iraq and GCC countries and issues of mutual interest.
“Cooperation and economic relations must progress for the better,” Abdul-Mahdi said.

Saudi Arabia and Iraq have agreed to cooperate in security and intelligence matters, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali Al-Hakim told Al Arabiya television. 
Meanwhile, Abdul-Mahdi also attended the Saudi-Iraqi Business Forum, which included representatives from large Saudi companies.
He also inaugurated an exhibition on Wednesday called “Cities Destroyed by Terrorism” that is showing at the National Museum in Riyadh. The exhibition was organised by the Minister of Culture and the Arab World Institute in Paris.
The Iraqi prime minister arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday for a two-day visit to the Kingdom. He held talks with King Salman on relations between the two countries, and later met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


His visit to the Kingdom “symbolizes the Iraqi government's vision in aiming to bolster ties with the Kingdom in all fields,” the Iraqi prime minister said on Facebook.
The two countries signed 13 agreements and memorandums of understanding between their various ministries. The deals covered many areas including energy, education, culture and political consultation.