So, some US$30 billion earned in Saudi Arabia is expatriated by foreign companies and workers. That’s a lot of money, of course, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that those earning money in the Kingdom want to send it home. For most workers, that’s exactly why they took jobs in Saudi Arabia: they could earn much higher incomes than they could at home. And, since most foreign workers can’t bring their families, they have very little on which to spend that money — it’s not like the KSA is a great place to blow one’s paycheck, after all… no wild women, whiskey, or dance halls.

Saeed Al-Siraihi, writing for the Arabic daily Okaz (and translated by Saudi Gazette) tells his readers that they are only seeing what they should expect to be seeing, if they have their eyes open. Saudis invited these workers in, so they should expect that the workers are going to send money home to support their families or to make investments in their home economies.

If Saudis don’t like this, they have a ready solution: Don’t bring in foreign workers. That’s easy enough. But then Saudi society will have to make a mental adjustment. It will have to realize that Saudis actually can do those jobs (if adequately trained). That will certainly cut the flow of cash leaving the Kingdom. It would also see Saudis taking on jobs like being car mechanics, ditch diggers, even housemaids. I will be surprised when that happens, though, because even though there are Saudis who want to do those jobs, social pressures prevent them from doing them.

We have no right to object
Saeed Al-Siraihi | Okaz newspaper

NO one has the right to protest when he or she comes to know that the remittances made by expatriates and foreign contractors to their respective homes during the past nine months have reached more than SR101 billion.

These remittances are expected to go up to more than SR130 billion by the year-end.

We have no right to object because the money remitted abroad was from financial gains foreign companies have made by executing projects contracted to them. Similarly, expatriates made their money from jobs they did for the public and private sectors.

It is not within the capacity of anyone to object or deny when he or she comes to know that these remittances are equal to more than 19 percent of government expenditures projected in the state budget for the current fiscal year.

Contractors and expatriates did not sneak into our country in the dark. It is we who went to them right at their homes and brought them to our country to work for us and to execute our development projects.


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