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Private sector supports unified GCC expat hiring policy
December 23, 2014, 9:21 am
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Omani Minister of Labor Abdullah bin Nasser al-Bakre (L), Saudi Minister of Labor Adel Bin Mohammad Faqeeh (C) and Bahraini Minister of labor Jameel Mohammad Humaidan attend a honoring ceremony just before the start of the labour ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting in Kuwait city, in this Nov. 25,2014 photo.

The private sector supports efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) governments to develop a unified policy that would govern their contractual relationships with labor exporting countries including India, Indonesia and the Philippines, a leading official said here Monday.

Abdurahim Hassan Naqi, secretary-general of the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said at a meeting in Riyadh with the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) that a decision was reached to form a working group to tackle the issue with state role players.

The private sector, represented by the federation, supports the efforts of the Gulf governments to seek a common solution to the issue. This would be the basis for negotiations with foreign countries and government agencies, he said.

The Gulf countries currently have individual labor pacts with these countries. These agreements have seen exporting countries seek greater concessions from Gulf nations in terms of working hours, conditions and salaries.

Meanwhile, Saad Al-Baddah, head of the CSC’s national recruitment and investors committee, said that the Gulf has become one of the world’s largest and most attractive markets for household and professional workers.

He said that remittances from Gulf states exceeds $81 billion (SR304 billion) annually. He said there are 9 million foreign workers in the Kingdom, who send home $35 billion (SR131 billion) each year.

In the United Arab Emirates, 4 million foreign workers transfer $16 billion (SR60 billion) in remittances yearly, while in Kuwait, 1.6 million foreign workers transfer nearly $12 billion (SR45 billion) back home each year.

In Oman, 900,000 foreign workers transfer $7.5 billion (SR28 billion) annually, while 1 million workers currently employed in Qatar transfer $8 billion (SR30 billion). Bahrain expatriates send home $1.5 billion (SR5.6 billion) a year.

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