RIYADH: A sudden and drastic cut in the expatriate work force to provide jobs for young unemployed Saudis would harm the national economy, according to a senior Labor Ministry official.
Deputy Labor Minister Ahmad bin Salih Al-Humaidan said this move would be unwise because 85 percent of the labor market consists of expatriates. “Such measures, if taken, would harm the labor market which mostly caters for private sector needs and consequently harm the national economy.”
He made the comments at the 7th Riyadh Economic Forum (REF), in response to calls from participants for the government to take drastic measures to solve youth unemployment.
“The private sector is our major partner in providing jobs for Saudis, so it is not wise to harm it that way. We rather prefer a gradual phasing out of the foreign work force to solve the problem of Saudi unemployment,” he said.
At its conclusion here on Thursday, the forum adopted more than 24 recommendations after three days of discussions by Saudi experts, businesspeople, and government officials.
Among the recommendations include setting up of special courts to resolve jurisdiction over disputes; and a committee of local and international experts to be formed to overhaul the justice system.
The forum also recommended that a special body be set up, which would report to the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, that would secure and oversee funds used to build information technology infrastructure in line with moves toward developing a knowledge economy.
The participants also recommended that the 30,000 small businesses in the country should be assisted to become part of the e-retailing system in the country; and for a national computing institute to be set up in Riyadh to provide e-learning courses.
It was also recommended that the government and private sector start establishing short and long term goals for the use of renewable energy across all sectors of the economy.