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Tue 29 Mar 2016 01:49 PM

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Foreign firms in Saudi Arabia 'will have to hire 75% locals'

SAGIA regulation will reportedly give companies already active in the kingdom two years to adhere to new rule

Foreign firms in Saudi Arabia 'will have to hire 75% locals'

Foreign companies active in Saudi Arabia will be required to have 75 percent of their workforces made up of local nationals, according to a report.

Arab News reported that the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the government body tasked with encouraging greater foreign direct investment into the kingdom, had implemented the new rule.

The newspaper, which quoted unspecified local media, said that the regulation had come into place last month for all foreign companies applying for a licence to operate in Saudi Arabia, while firms already active in the kingdom would be given a two-year grace period to implement the change.

Other new regulations stipulate that foreign firms “must have a middle-sized classification and a minimum of 50 employees” and that “minimum capital must be not less than SR35.5 million [$9.5 million]”.

There was no reference to the change in regulations on the SAGIA website.

Despite extensive government efforts to find more jobs for locals, Saudi Arabia's labour force grew by 46,000 during 2015, its slowest pace since records began in 1999.

Jadwa Investment’s latest update on the labour market in Saudi Arabia, released earlier this month, also showed that ‘Saudization’ rates within the private sector fell for the first time since 2011.

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ResidentKSA 4 years ago

Now wait a minute. They are tasked with making FDI easier? And they made it even more complicated with a condition of 75% being Saudis??

We know that there is a talent gap in local population and that's why the country has 10 million expatriate workers at all levels of job in all industries so for God's sake wake up SAGIA and Saudis, Iran is opening up and is said to have much simpler FDI regulations with rapid growth prospective so watch your back before it is too late and FDIs are directed to Iran.

FromUKtoKSA 4 years ago

This will definitely put Saudi out of the markets. After oil debacle.