The Saudi Economic Association has said remittances by expats in the kingdom rose to SR383.6bn since the introduction of the Nitaqat nationalisation programme in 2011, marking a 57.8% jump in foreign transfers compared with the previous 10 years, Arab News has reported. Remittances rose by 18% in 2013 to SR148bn from SR125.2bn in the previous year, said Abdul Hameed Al-Omari, a member of the association. “Expats should not be blamed for these transfers as it is their right. If we want to blame someone for the danger it has posed to the economy, it should be government departments, especially the labour ministry and big companies,” he said. The ministry’s efforts to discourage expats to bring families would increase foreign remittances further and reduce their spending in the kingdom, he added.
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