GENEVA – Abdul Wahid Al-Hameed, the Saudi Deputy Minister of Labor, told G20 ministers of labor Monday night that the Kingdom held a “significant economic position in the world” and that it’s handling of the global financial crisis was “creating jobs for its own citizens and those of other countries”.
“The Kingdom recruited 1,500,000 workers from abroad last year,” Al-Hameed told the ministers’ meeting at the International Labor Conference currently in progress in Geneva.
“Their money transfers have contributed in strengthening the economies of their home countries.”
Remittances from Saudi Arabia’s estimated nine million mostly Asian foreign workers are soaring as the Kingdom recruits more of them for its massive development plan.
At $18.4 billion in 2008 and 15.0 billion in the first eight months of 2009, earnings sent abroad equalled four percent of Saudi gross domestic product, according to government data.
Saudi Arabia was the world’s third largest source of foreign worker remittances in 2008 after the United States and Russia – far larger economies – according to the World Bank.
Al-Hameed told ministers that the G20’s focus needed to extend beyond their own individual nations and concentrate on Third World countries suffering from the effects of the economic crisis.
As an active member of the G20, the Kingdom, Al-Hameed said, regarded as significant recommendations produced by the group’s labor ministers in Washington last April, and noted that Saudi Arabia had discussed them with GCC ministers of labor in a meeting on the sidelines of the current International Labor Conference. - SPA/SG