Aramco attack implications to go beyond region: Pakistani expats

Undated photo for Pakistan Complex at the Pakistan Association, Dubai, UAE. ( Photo credit Pakistan Association Dubai)
Updated 18 September 2019

Aramco attack implications to go beyond region: Pakistani expats

  • Say the economic conditions will become challenging after this incident including in the UAE
  • As a community, feel terrible and all our support is with Saudi Arabia,” - Pakistani expat Dr Hadi Shahid

DUBAI: The economic implications of the attacks on Aramco oil facilities will be felt way further than the region, say representatives of the Pakistani community in the UAE.
Expressing concerns over the attacks that took place on Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil supply chain early on Saturday, the Pakistani community members in the UAE said that the economic outcomes will pose a challenge immediately and in the long run as well.
“Conflict is in nobody’s interest and whoever is behind the attacks, obviously has a bigger agenda,” Javed Khamisani, CEO of Allianz Hosting, an IT Services Company operating in the UAE, Pakistan and UK, told Arab News.
“We, in the UAE, are not immune to implications of the attack and the consequential increase in the oil prices. In fact, the impact will be felt globally and especially so in Pakistan which is highly dependent on imports,” said Khamisani.
Global oil prices are already 10 percent higher since the attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure.
Ahmed Shaikhani, vice president of Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in Dubai, condemned the attack in clear terms.
“This attack should not have happened...the economic conditions are already not too viable worldwide and will further become challenging after this incident including in the UAE,” he told Arab News, adding that the common man would bear the brunt of this attack.
According to Khamisani, the disruption in oil production would drive up costs, impacting the salaried class majorly. “Transport costs will go up and it will make a huge difference to the day to day life of common man...budgets will be affected. This will happen only in the UAE, where majority of the people are from the salaried class, but even beyond the region, until Pakistan.”
However, the President of Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in Dubai, Iqbal Dawood was quite optimistic that the situation would was short lived and would be handled well.
“A disturbance has definitely been created and oil prices have gone up but I am positive that all the problems will be resolved in a proper manner since the leadership in Saudi Arabia is very strong,” he said.
The attacks on Aramco’s main crude processing facility knocked out 5.7 million barrels of daily oil production for Saudi Arabia, or more than five percent of the world’s daily crude production.
Dr. Hadi Shahid, Chartered Accountant and Managing Partner, Alliot, UAE said that “We, as a community, feel terrible and all our support is with Saudi Arabia at this point,” adding that the country’s leadership was strong and would get to the heart of the matter.
Global energy prices spiked Monday by a percentage unseen since the 1991 Gulf War after the weekend attack on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia caused the worst disruption to world supplies on record, further fueling heightened tensions between Iran and the US.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest crude exporter and one of the top producers. The attack removed half of its output- 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd), or the equivalent to five percent of global supplies.

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.