Saudi investments in Britain reach 60 billion pounds

Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi
Updated 23 July 2016

Saudi investments in Britain reach 60 billion pounds

LONDON: There are huge Saudi investments in the UK and they amount to nearly 60 billion pounds, according to Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi.
The minister made the remark following participation in the work of the second Gulf-British Economic Forum, organized by the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, in London.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA, he lauded the bilateral commercial ties and pointed out that the official Arab and British attendance at the forum indicates the status of importance that both sides attach to the development of cooperation, in various trade and investment fields.
He explained that Britain is a historical friend and ally of the states of the region and there must be concerted efforts to discuss the opportunities and challenges that contribute to the development of investment bridges between the two sides, especially after Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU).
Referring to the large expansion that has occurred in trade and investment cooperation between the Gulf and Britain in education, defense and other investment activities, the minister noted that Saudi investments in the UK are huge and the Kingdom's participation in such and other international forums is due to the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, which has adopted policies that encourage marketing and investment opportunities. This is in line with Saudi Vision 2030, the minister added.
He mentioned that Saudi investments in the UK amounted to nearly 60 billion pounds in various domains.

Saudi labor force figures on the rise before pandemic

Updated 08 July 2020

Saudi labor force figures on the rise before pandemic

  • Trend driven by increase in female employment, but second quarter data will reveal impact of virus on jobs

RIYADH: Saudi unemployment dipped below 12 percent in the first quarter for the first time in four years — but the government data does not reflect the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The Labor Force Survey published by the General Authority of Statistics (GASTAT), which was conducted in January 2020, before the pandemic, showed that the total unemployment rate amounted to 5.7 percent in the first quarter, unchanged compared to the first quarter of the previous year.

Regional economies have been hit by the double whammy of the coronavirus and weak oil prices which has forced major employers to lay off staff throughout the Gulf and led to the departure of thousands of expatriate workers.

Last week the International Labor Organization warned the outlook for the global jobs market in the second half of 2020 was “highly uncertain” and that employment was unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels this year. 

“The estimates have revised upwards considerably the damage done to our labor markets by the pandemic,” said Guy Ryder, ILO director-general.

The Saudi unemployment rate decreased to 11.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020, from 12.5 percent the same period in 2019, and compared to 12 percent in the last quarter of 2019. 

The figures also reflect an increase in the total labor force participation rate to 58.2 percent in the first three months of 2020, a jump of 1.8 percentage points compared to the same period in 2019.

GASTAT said that the stability in the unemployment rate and the increase of labor force participation rate were due to the increase in the number of employees in the survey.

That trend was driven by a decrease in the Saudi female unemployment rate that stood at 28.2 percent in the first quarter of 2020, 2.7 percentage points lower than the last quarter in 2019. 

Meanwhile the Saudi male unemployment rate rose to 5.6 percent, 0.6 percentage points higher than the rate of last quarter in 2019.

The statistics show that there are almost 9.98 million people in employment across the public and private sectors.

About 3.2 million of them are Saudis. The figures exclude workers in the security and military sectors. 

The data also reveal that there are 3.66 million domestic workers in the country, all of them non-Saudis.

The labor market statistics are compiled from two main sources. The first is the labor force survey, which is a household survey that is carried out by GASTAT and provides the most important indicators of the labor market, such as the unemployment and labor force participation rates.

The second source is administrative data which is recorded and updated by government agencies related to the labor market.