GCC in joint push to block tainted expatriates’ entry

Updated 02 February 2015

GCC in joint push to block tainted expatriates’ entry

In yet another move to cut reliance on foreign labor, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is working on a joint database project that will contain comprehensive information about tainted foreign workers.
The plan is aimed at preventing the entry of a foreign worker into any Gulf country, if proof is found of his criminal involvement in his previous country of residence.
“The project is subject to clearance from the ministries of labor and interior of the GCC countries,” said a GCC source, Saturday. He said the details of the database and the mechanism to follow were discussed by the GCC labor ministers’ meeting held in October last.
Referring to the benefits of this project, Hashim Kareem, an agent at a manpower recruitment company, said the move would “prevent a foreign worker from entering any Gulf state if he/she has committed a crime in another GCC state which has led to his/her conviction or deportation.”
He, however, observed that the implementation of such a plan would be very difficult. “In fact, many expatriates deported from Gulf countries often obtain false travel documents under a different name to re-enter the same country or another GCC state,” he noted.
Kareem said the crime rates had risen in the GCC countries and the growing presence of foreign workers is cited as one of the reasons.
“But the severity of penalties and the rigid system of enforcement are credited by both officials and ordinary citizens with contributing to the high standards of public safety still prevalent in the Gulf including Saudi Arabia,” he added. The database will include details of all expats, who have broken civil and criminal laws or been convicted or deported.
To this end, it must be noted that the secretariat of the Chambers of Commerce of the Federation of the GCC has also warned of the negative social and economic influences of the growing number of the migrant workforce, especially those involved in crime.
It has stressed the need to develop effective policies to address them.
In fact, the percentage of the migrant workforce in the GCC countries represents about 70 percent of the total number of laborers.
Saudi Arabia alone has an expatriate population of over 10 million from its total population of 31 million.
Currently, GCC as a bloc is home to over 20 million foreign workers, who remit nearly $85 billion to their home countries annually.


Saudi Arabia among top 10 in UN’s e-commerce index

Updated 09 December 2019

Saudi Arabia among top 10 in UN’s e-commerce index

  • The index ranked the Kingdom 49th in the global ranking

RIYADH: The UN e-commerce index ranked Saudi Arabia among the top 10 countries in the e-commerce sector. 

The index, issued by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, ranked the Kingdom 49th in the global ranking, rising three places in the general index.

The report indicated that the improvement achieved by the Kingdom came from two criteria: The proportion of Internet use — which has risen to 93 percent — and the rising postal reliability standard.

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha said that this achievement came as a result of unlimited support from the leadership.

He added that the ministry works with partners to develop the Kingdom’s digital capabilities to invest in the growth of future projects in order to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans.