Saudi Arabia’s decision to waive the fees on expatriate workers in the industry sector has contributed to stimulating investments in the sector, diversifying the economy, finding urgent solutions to economic problems and reducing dependence on oil.
According to a statement by the cabinet on Tuesday, the Kingdom has waived fees on expatriate workers employed in the industrial sector for five years.
The government, under a job creation drive, had imposed fees on expatriate workers to encourage hiring of Saudis.
Companies have said the fees significantly increase operating costs.
Chairman of the Board of Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ajlan al-Ajlan told Asharq Al-Awsat that the decision stems from the leadership’s constant interest in all economic sectors, including the industrial sector.
Ajlan pointed out that the decision came within the immediate short-term solutions to stimulate industrial investments.
He said it would contribute to bolstering and supporting the national industry, which is one of the major steps to diversify sources of income and reduce dependence on oil.
Investments in the Saudi industrial sector amounted to more than one trillion riyals ($266.6 billion), he noted.
Ajlan also stressed that the national products enjoy high confidence and quality both inside the Kingdom and abroad, adding that this decision enhances the quality and competitiveness of industries.
He highlighted the government's interest and support for all factors that contribute to activating the private sector’s role in achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Chairman of the Industrial and Mineral Resources Committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dr. Abdulrahman al-Obaid told Asharq Al-Awsat in a phone call that the government was determined to develop the industry as a cornerstone of its Vision in order to reduce dependence on oil.
The government's position emphasized the importance of transforming the Saudi economy from a revenue-generating economy to a productive one, Obaid noted, adding that the Saudi industry has made big leaps in the past decades.