Magazine article Global Finance

Saudization Takes Priority

Magazine article Global Finance

Saudization Takes Priority

Article excerpt

Officially known as the Saudi nationalization scheme, Saudization-the replacement of foreign workers with Saudi nationals through a quota policy-is spreading to more parts of the economy. With nearly half of the native population under the age of 25 and a national native unemployment rate of more than 12%, jobs for Saudis are a priority.

In phases, beginning in September, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development has expanded the policy to 12 retail sectors, including automotive, apparel, kitchenware, electrical and electronics and furniture stores. Businesses in these sectors now have to employ at least 70% Saudi nationals.

Saudization started in the 1980s and has largely been a success in public employment. In 2018, the public sector saw a 20% drop in expatriate workers compared to 2017. …

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