ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has requested Saudi Arabia to employ a significant number of its nationals, saying it can provide over a million workers annually, as the kingdom implements Vision 2030 to diversify its economy away from oil dependence and other sectors like technology, tourism, and entertainment.
Saudi Arabia is home to over two million Pakistanis, making it the largest contributor to the remittance inflows of the South Asian state for years.
The two countries also enjoy deep defense, diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties with each other, making the Saudi authorities come to Pakistan’s financial rescue several times in recent years amid challenging economic circumstances.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Jawad Sohrab took up the issue of providing more skilled workers to the kingdom during a meeting with the Saudi envoy, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki on Saturday.
“The Saudi Vision 2030 needs millions of expatriate workers,” the Pakistani official said in a social media post after the meeting. “Currently, about 500000 Pakistanis proceed to Saudi Arabia annually. There is a real prospect of this figure rising to over 1 million.”
Sharing the details of his meeting with the top Saudi diplomat in Pakistan, he said the Saudi ambassador was “highly receptive” to his country’s request.
He also hoped to enter an agreement with the kingdom regarding the supply of workforce while praising its top leadership “for always supporting Pakistan.”
The Pakistani administration has identified various initiatives to strengthen the national economy amid major financial challenges.
The idea of getting more Pakistani workers employed in other countries, especially in the Middle East, is among them since it can further strengthen remittance inflows.