SAUDI ARABIA

Expat remittance jumps 12% to SR12 billion in January

March 01, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The personal remittance of expatriates recorded an increase of 12 percent, equivalent to SR1.26 billion ($337 million) reaching SR12.06 billion ($3.2 billion) during January 2021, while compared to SR10.79 billion ($2.9 billion) in January 2020, according to the monthly bulletin issued by the Saudi Central Bank.

On a monthly basis, the transfers of expatriates posted a decrease of 10 percent in January as against SR13.42 billion ($3.6 billion) in December 2020.

At the same time, remittances of Saudis outside the Kingdom increased by 9.4 percent in January 2021 reaching SR 4.27 billion ($1.14 billion), compared to SR3.9 billion ($1.04 billion) in January 2020.

On a monthly basis, remittances of Saudis to abroad dropped by 11 percent in January 2021, compared to SR4.79 billion ($ 1.28 billion) in December 2020.

According to previous data issued by the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), the Kingdom witnessed the exit of about 257,170 foreign workers in the third quarter of 2020, bringing the total number of non-Saudi workers to about 10.2 million workers, compared to about 10.46 million workers in the second quarter of 2020.

Saudi Arabia began implementing programs to localize jobs, and that cover entire sectors, which were hitherto controlled by expatriate workers, with the aim of reducing unemployment rates and providing more job opportunities for young Saudis.

The personal remittances of expatriates posted an increase of 19.25 percent, reaching SR149.69 billion ($39.92 billion) during the year 2020, while compared to SR125.53 billion ($33.47 billion) during 2019. The value of remittances recorded was the highest in 2020 over the last four years since 2016.

Remittances have declined in the past two years in a row from SR151.9 billion ($ 40.5 billion) in 2016 to SR141.6 billion ($ 37.8 billion) in 2017, to SR136.4 billion ($ 36.4 billion) in 2018, and then to SR125.53 billion ($ 33.47 billion) in 2019.

A big increase in remittances from Saudi Arabia during the year 2020 was in contradiction to the expectations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

The World Bank expected that remittances of workers abroad around the world would witness a decrease due to several major factors, mainly COVID-19 related factors such as weak rates of economic growth and employment in host countries of immigrants, fall of oil prices, and decline in the value of the currencies of the countries where from workers transfer money.


March 01, 2021
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