Saudi labor ministry plans new foreign manpower program

In this file photo, Laborer work to remove a pole outside a residential building in Riyadh on Feb. 9, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 November 2019

Saudi labor ministry plans new foreign manpower program

  • The Kingdom intends to gradually cancel labor visas issued under the previous system
  • Says it will prioritize certain occupational categories

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia will introduce a new foreign manpower program starting next month by issuing visas for specific occupations, said Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Al-Omair noted that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes. He also noted that the previous labor category system would be gradually be removed from the ministry’s system.

The new scheme will be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it will become compulsory.

According to Al-Omair, the new program will be first applied to the manpower recruited from India due to it is a large size in the Saudi market.

However, it will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, since workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of the professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.


Shoura Council approves Saudi investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy

Updated 29 January 2020

Shoura Council approves Saudi investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy

  • Saudi Arabia announced $20 billion investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy in February 2019
  • Cooperation with Saudi with help Islamabad achieve its energy targets – AEDB chief

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Shoura Council has approved a draft agreement between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on renewable energy development.

“The Saudi Shoura Council approves a draft MoU between Saudi Arabia and the government of Pakistan to study investment opportunities in the refining and petrochemical sectors,” the Shoura Council said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

“The government of Pakistan will certainly welcome the investment from international investors, including from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar, chief executive of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), told Arab News on Wednesday.

He said that renewable energy cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was initiated in February last year when the draft memorandum was signed during the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The government has already signed the MoU with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the development of renewable energy power projects in Pakistan,” Jabbar said.

During the crown prince’s visit, Saudi Arabia announced a $20 billion investment package for Pakistan, which includes the development of a petrochemical complex, renewable energy projects and investment in mineral resources. 

“The government of Pakistan is proactively pursuing the promotion and development of indigenous renewable energy resources through private parties’ participation,” Jabbar said, adding that the cooperation with Saudi Arabia is going to help the Pakistani government achieve its targets of 25 percent renewable energy share in the total energy mix by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

The targets are set in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019 (ARE Policy 2019).