Saudi private sector employment touches 11.1m

Saudi private sector employment touches 11.1m
Of the private sector workers, 2.3 million were Saudi nationals. Shutterstock
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Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi private sector employment touches 11.1m

Saudi private sector employment touches 11.1m

RIYADH: The total number of employees in Saudi Arabia’s private sector reached 11.1 million in February, up 0.9 percent from the previous month, according to newly released figures.   

The Saudi National Labor Observatory report revealed that out of the total, 2.3 million were Saudi nationals while 8.8 million were residents of the Kingdom belonging to different nationalities.  

This data represents a positive trend in the employment sector as the private sector continues to expand its workforce, creating opportunities for Saudi citizens.   

Moreover, an analysis of the Saudi national workforce shows that while 961,690 employees were females, 1.4 million were males.  

On the other hand, of the 8.8 million non-Saudi workers, 348,892 were women, while 8.4 million were men.  

In February alone, the net growth in jobs for Saudi nationals as well as residents stood at 26,694, indicating a steady increase in employment within the private sector.

In November, the NLO released a first-of-its-kind report that disclosed that the number of Saudis with more than 20 years of experience in the private sector is above 123,000.  

At the time, the organization claimed that this figure indicates an improvement in the overall survival and sustainability of such jobs in the Kingdom.    

The study also highlighted that this rise was mainly attributed to efforts exerted by the sector, such as financial incentives and rewards.  

In addition, private firms offer continuous training and development driven by government support, retention, and nationalization programs.  

In 2021, a report revealed that the Saudi private sector is hiring women at twice the rate of the public sector.    

Between the beginning of 2019 and the end of 2020, Saudi women in the labor market grew by 64 percent as the Kingdom underwent several social reforms, particularly for its female population, the study disclosed at the time.    

The analysis, commissioned by the US think tank Brookings Institute, showed the surge was “genuine, private-sector-led,” as female employment in these sectors rose by about 10 percent, twice as quickly as in the public sector, where it grew 5 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification path has turned the Kingdom into a hub for employment opportunities, thanks to its bold giga-projects, including NEOM, which attract fresh talent into the construction sector.    

The massive developments align with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and enhance the strength of the private sector.


Mitsui to join with ADNOC and others in LNG project in UAE, Nikkei reports 

Mitsui to join with ADNOC and others in LNG project in UAE, Nikkei reports 
Updated 6 sec ago
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Mitsui to join with ADNOC and others in LNG project in UAE, Nikkei reports 

Mitsui to join with ADNOC and others in LNG project in UAE, Nikkei reports 

TOKYO: Japan’s Mitsui & Co plans to participate in a $7 billion liquefied natural gas project in the UAE, teaming up with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and others, the Nikkei reported on Tuesday. 

ADNOC will participate with a stake of around 60 percent and Mitsui with 10 percent of the project, the Nikkei said, adding Mitsui’s investment is estimated to be several tens of billions of yen. 

Other oil majors Shell, BP and Total Energies are also expected to invest, the report said. 

The companies aim to produce about 10 million metric tons of LNG per year, the report said. 


Pakistan eyes new IMF loan by early July, finance minister says

Pakistan eyes new IMF loan by early July, finance minister says
Updated 15 min 42 sec ago
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Pakistan eyes new IMF loan by early July, finance minister says

Pakistan eyes new IMF loan by early July, finance minister says

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan could secure a staff-level agreement on a new long-term larger loan with the International Monetary Fund by early July, its finance minister said on Tuesday, according to Reuters. 

The country’s current $3 billion arrangement with the fund — which it secured last summer to avert a sovereign default — runs out in late April.

The $350 billion South Asian economy faces a chronic balance of payment crisis. The government is seeking a larger, long-term loan to help stabilize economic activity and financial markets so it can execute long-due, painful structural reforms.

If secured, it would be the 24th IMF bailout for Pakistan.

“We are still hoping that we get a staff-level agreement by June or early July,” Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb told a conference in Islamabad.

He returned from Washington last week after leading a team to attend the IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings.

“We had very good discussions in Washington,” he said.

He said he did not know at this stage the volume and tenure of the longer program, although he has previously said that he was looking for at least a three-year bailout plan.

Both sides have said they were already in discussions for the new loan. A formal request, however, will be made once the current facility expires, with the IMF board likely to meet late this month to approve the second and last tranche of the current support scheme.

The economy is expected to grow by 2.6 percent in the fiscal year 2024, the finance minister said, adding that the inflation was projected at 24 percent, down from 29.2 percent in fiscal 2023. It touched a record high of 38 percent last May.

Aurangzeb said structural reforms would include increasing the government’s tax revenue-to-GDP ratio to 13 percent to 14 percent in next two or three years from the current level of around 9 percent, reducing losses of state-owned enterprises through their privatization, and better management of the debt-laden energy sector.


 


Oil Updates – prices stabilize, Middle East tensions remain in focus

Oil Updates – prices stabilize, Middle East tensions remain in focus
Updated 23 April 2024
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Oil Updates – prices stabilize, Middle East tensions remain in focus

Oil Updates – prices stabilize, Middle East tensions remain in focus

NEW DELHI: Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday, after falling in the previous session, as investors continued to assess the risk from geopolitical concerns in the Middle East, according to Reuters.

Global benchmark Brent crude oil futures traded 18 cents higher at $87.18 a barrel by 9:34 a.m. Saudi time, and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures also gained 16 cents to $82.06 a barrel.

Both benchmarks fell 29 cents in the previous session on signs that a recent escalation of tensions between Israel and Iran had little near-term impact on oil supplies from the region.

“The unwinding of geo-political risk premium has dented crude oil prices recently as supply was not disrupted meaningfully,” said Sugandha Sachdeva, founder of Delhi-based research firm SS WealthStreet.

But the evolving geopolitical landscape remains critical in steering crude oil prices, she said.

“While there are no indications of an imminent full-scale war between the countries involved, any escalation in tensions could quickly reverse the current trend,” Sachdeva added.

ANZ analysts echoed the sentiment and highlighted US approval of new sanctions on Iran’s oil sector that broaden current sanctions to include foreign ports, vessels and refineries that knowingly process or ship Iranian crude.

Also, EU foreign ministers agreed in principle on Monday to expand sanctions on Iran after Tehran’s missile and drone attack on Israel, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

“The geopolitical backdrop is still very fraught with so many risks at the moment, so clearly we’re going to see a lot of volatility until there’s a lot more clarity around it,” the ANZ analysts said in a podcast.

Israeli troops fought their way back into an eastern section of Khan Younis in a surprise raid, residents said on Monday, sending people who had returned to abandoned homes in the ruins of the southern Gaza Strip’s main city fleeing once more.

Investors are waiting for the release of the US gross domestic product figures and the March personal consumption expenditure data — the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge — later this week to assess the trajectory of monetary policy.

US crude oil inventories are expected to have increased last week while refined product stockpiles likely fell, according to a preliminary Reuters poll of analysts.

“Sticky US inflation figures, hawkish statements from key Fed officials, and rising US inventories are all acting as constraints on crude oil price growth,” Sachdeva said. 


Pakistan hopes to get new IMF loan by early July, says finance minister

Pakistan hopes to get new IMF loan by early July, says finance minister
Updated 23 April 2024
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Pakistan hopes to get new IMF loan by early July, says finance minister

Pakistan hopes to get new IMF loan by early July, says finance minister
  • Pakistan’s current $3 billion financial arrangement with IMF expires in late April
  • Islamabad is seeking “bigger,” long-term loan to ensure macroeconomic stability

Pakistan is hoping to reach a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund by June or early July, its finance minister said on Tuesday.

The country’s current $3 billion arrangement with the fund runs out in late-April, which it secured last summer to avert a sovereign default.

Islamabad is seeking a long-term bigger loan to help bring permanence to macroeconomic stability as well as an umbrella under which the country can execute structural reforms.

“We are still hoping that we get a staff-level agreement by June or early July,” Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb told a conference in Islamabad.

He returned from Washington last week after leading a team to attend the IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings. “We had very good discussions in Washington,” he said.

He said he did not know at this stage the volume and tenure of the longer program.


Riyadh prepares to host special meeting of World Economic Forum

Riyadh prepares to host special meeting of World Economic Forum
Updated 22 April 2024
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Riyadh prepares to host special meeting of World Economic Forum

Riyadh prepares to host special meeting of World Economic Forum
  • The aim of the gathering is to find solutions to global challenges relating to humanitarian issues, the climate and the economy

RIYADH: Final preparations are taking place this week in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for a special meeting of the World Economic Forum in the city on April 28 and 29.

Heads of state and senior executives from the public and private sectors are expected to be among the participants, who will discuss a range of global economic issues and developments under the theme “Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development.”

The aim of the meeting is to find solutions to a host of global challenges relating to humanitarian issues, the climate and the economy. On the sidelines of the main event, the Kingdom will host exhibitions and other events to highlight the latest developments and trends in areas such as sustainability, innovation and culture.

The selection of Riyadh as host of the special meeting reflects the extensive partnership between Saudi Arabia and the WEF, officials said.

It builds upon the Kingdom’s active participation and contributions to the WEF’s Annual Meetings in Davos.

The agenda is designed to rekindle the spirit of cooperation and collaboration with various panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities. It represents a significant gathering of global leaders and experts dedicated to forging a path toward a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable world.