Archive for June, 2016

Saudization meets reality

Posted: June 17, 2016 in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi ruling shoura council has embarked on the process known as ‘saudization’ over recent years which has now been brought further into public focus with the much hyped 2030 National Strategic Development and Diversification Plan. Basically this is Saudi Arabia seeking to develop an economy not wholly dependant on oil and foreign workers – which in of itself is a fanciful dream by many

That’s the plan but here’s the reality…

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Suppliers of goods and services, in this case mobile phones and accessories, refuse to supply and deal with Saudi Nationals. Some are quoted as saying they fear  limited legal recourse for non/late payment, low productivity and poor attendance/work ethic. Many Saudi’s only wanting to ‘work’ 5-8 hours 5 days a week – whereas ex pats often work 12 hours – 6 days a week to maintain productivity, profits and targets

In response the government are considering punitive measures such as increased rents and taxes for violators

So where does that leave the proposed initiative to replace thousands of foreign workers with young Saudi’s? The target of 50% saudization for the telecommunications sector seems way off – currently it is estimated that around 10% of employees are Saudi

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As an employer choosing to employ a Saudi will often face a reduction in meeting targets, work efficiency and productive hours… Basically they can expect to become less profitable. This simple fact – verifiable by speaking to anyone – is the reason saudization will never work and possibly bankrupt the entire economy if ‘forced’ by the ruling elite.

Consider labour intensive sectors of the economy e.g. construction and a saudization goal of 50%. For example a building company may employee 50 builders and labourers and a couple of Saudi managers and architects. To hit the prescribed criteria they would have to either employ 48 more Saudi managers to balance labourers or sack 48 Bangladeshi/Indian or flippino workers. Either way the construction will very quickly go backrupt. The government constantly espouse the willingness of young men in this country to work – in the case of hard physical labour this is utter balderdash. It is obvious to any idiot that exceptions are going to have to be forthcoming to avoid the proverbial wheels falling off this bus!

Watch this space..

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About bloody time

Posted: June 5, 2016 in Still Saudi Arabia

At last, someone is taking steps to sort out this filthy dump

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Perhaps this direct assault on the wallets of the locals will bring about a significant – long overdue – change in their mindset

Inshallah

The major reason so many expatriates work in KSA is to earn decent money – tax free – to save/send home to family in their Native countries. Owing to the enormous financial liquidity crisis currently being experienced by oil producers, they are desperately clamouring to remedy the situation by finding *extorting* alternative sources of revenue

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The latest suggestion to be discussed by the shoura council – Saudi Arabia’s government assembly chamber – is to slap a 6% tax on remittances leaving foreign nationals bank accounts – this is on top of currently administration charges levied by the banks. Thus the notion of a ‘tax free income’ somewhat undermined

Saudi Arabia was sat on a 950,000,000 – almost 1 trillion US dollar – nest egg before oil dropped from well over $100 a barrel to $30. Over the last 18 months thus figure has been decimated and currently is estimated to be around 500,000,000!

Also up for debate are stricter capital controls on physical hard currency literally being carried out in people’s luggage/on their person