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Tue 4 Sep 2018 08:49 AM

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Saudi Arabia denies plans to introduce expat remittance fee

Expats sent home nearly $38 billion in remittances from Saudi Arabia in 2017

Saudi Arabia denies plans to introduce expat remittance fee
Over 10 million foreign workers living in the kingdom sent approximately $38 billion in remittances to their home countries in 2017.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance has denied rumours swirling in social media that the kingdom is set to impose fees on remittances by expatriate workers.

In a statement carried on the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the ministry said that it “categorically denies [the rumours] and affirms its commitment to support the free movement of capital through official channels in accordance with best international standards and practices.”

Not imposing remittance fees, the ministry added, forms part of its larger effort to boost investor confidence and enhance the competiveness of the Saudi economy to attract foreign investment.

In January 2017, the Ministry was forced to deny similar rumours about an impending move to impose fees on foreign remittances.

According to Saudi figures, the over 10 million foreign workers living in the kingdom sent approximately $38 billion in remittances to their home countries in 2017.

In neighbouring Kuwait, the country’s parliamentary financial and economic affairs committee in April approved bills stipulating fees on expat remittances which are expected to bring in over $230 million to Kuwaiti coffers.

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