Saudi nationalization plan to create 1 million jobs in 15 years

The proposed nationalization program that will come up for voting in the Shoura Council this week is expected to create more than 1 million jobs

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The proposed nationalization program that will come up for voting in the Shoura Council this week is expected to create more than 1 million jobs for Saudis over the next 15 years.

Council member Abdulrahman Al-Rashid said the proposal includes the formation of a high commission for the job nationalization program. “The plan aims to develop a Saudi workforce which is skilled and educated enough to power the wheels of production. It envisages projects to cut down foreign imports and increase national output,” said Al-Rashid.

He said local production will increase competition in the Saudi market and will strengthen the national economy.

“The country’s dependence on oil revenue has decreased from 13 percent in 2009 to 8 percent in 2013. By empowering and developing local industries by increasing productivity, unifying standards of measurement and regulating prices, the Kingdom will be able to become a fierce competitor in the global market,” said Al-Rashid.

He said having a job nationalization program will reflect positively on the private sector, especially the industrial sector, and will strengthen the relationship between the private and public sectors.

“Small and medium enterprises will have a platform to grow on. National output utilizes the full capacity of the nation and its resources. It mobilizes local manpower and makes use of local raw materials. The system will also empower local investors,” said Al-Rashid.

He also said national production will cut prices as indigenous products will be cheaper than imported goods.

“The budget for imports reached SR452,439 billion in 2011. Increased production will also reflect on the consumer as the end products will be cheaper. The high commission’s role will be to set out policies and strategies to support the economic development of the country,” said Al-Rashid.

He also said the commission will work on solving the issue of unemployment.

“Billions of riyals are spent annually to meet the needs of government projects. This money could be saved and spent more productively for the benefit of society if the manufacturing sector is nationalized and if there is no need to import goods and equipment from abroad,” said Al-Rashid.

He said the commission will give priority to Saudi contractors and all foreign contractors will give their Saudi partners a minimum of 30 percent in profits.

“Foreign contractors will be obliged to buy equipment from Saudi manufacturers or from Saudi representatives of international companies. The commission should be headed by the governor and its members should be representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development,” said Al-Rashid.

He also said the members should also include representatives of Saudi Aramco, SABIC, Maaden, Saline Water Conversion Corporation, the Saudi Electricity Company, three businessmen from the private sector nominated by the Minister of Commerce and Investment and recommended by the Council of Saudi Chambers.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on November 27th, 2016.

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