Saudi Arabia's plans to speed up the process of increasing the number of Saudis in employment could result in job losses for 250,000 Egyptians and thousands more foreign workers in the kingdom, a source at the Saudi embassy in Cairo has said.
The source said that the plan comes as part of austerity measures which the kingdom is putting in place to tackle unemployment among Saudi nationals.
In a statement to the New Khaleej, the source added that the plan depends on the dismissal of foreigners working in different sectors. Egypt has the fourth large number of workers in Saudi after India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
According to the Chair of the International Recruitment Division at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Hamdy Imam, many recruitment companies have been closed or have reduced employment. The number of such companies has reduced from 1,200 to 800.
There are about 2.66 million Egyptians working in the private sector in Saudi Arabia, in addition to their family members, according to Saudi data.