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Report: expatriates account for 69% of SME employees in Saudi Arabia

As many as 69 percent of employees in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi are expatriates, official data showed on Wednesday.

The Saudi General Authority for Statistics revealed in its annual survey of SMEs that the number of foreigners working in SMEs has reached 3.71 million people out of 4.72 million employees who work in 949,86,000 SMEs.

As many as 35.9 percent of foreigners or 1.33 million workers work in the wholesale and retail sector followed by 14.7 percent or 546,000 workers who work in manufacturing activities.

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According to previous statements by Saudi officials Small and medium-sized Enterprises account for about 90 percent of the country's total facilities.

Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf countries depend heavily on foreign labor.

The number of workers in the country reached 13.76 million at the end of the third quarter of 2017, 77.7 percent or 10.69 million of whom were foreigners compared to 22.3 percent or 3.06 million Saudis.

Saudi Arabia has intensified the localisation of local workforce in many economic sectors, and restricted employment in various sectors including insurance, communications and transport to Saudi citizens.

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