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7 Key Economic Activities Meet Saudization Goals

Saudi Arabia’s private sector has achieved impressive results in its efforts to meet the Kingdom’s objectives of transforming its workforce into a predominantly local one, an approach popularly known as Saudization and officially known as the Saudi Nationalization Scheme. This week, it was announced that seven key economic activities in Saudi Arabia have now achieved over 50 percent Saudization.

By the end of 2020, the major activities to have over half their workforce as Saudi nationals include: financial and insurance activities, with a Saudization rate of 83.6 percent; public administration, defense and mandatory social insurance with 71.9 percent; foreign organizations and entities 71.5 percent; mining and quarrying activities 63.2 percent; education 52.9 percent; information and communications 50.7 percent; and supplies of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning 50.6 percent.

According to local news media such as Saudi Gazette and Al-Eqtisadiah, human health and social service activities are close to also passing the 50 percent mark, having achieved a localization rate of 48.3 percent so far. These percentages are calculated based on the number of private sector employees registered with the Kingdom’s General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI), which has classified professions in the private sector into 21 economic activities.

Prior to these impressive latest figures, Saudi Arabia’s technology sector saw a staggering 54 percent rate of Saudization, with 21 percent of that being women. Through Saudization, the government of Saudi Arabia has been pushing to increase employment of nationals within the private sector, using the Nitaqat system to rate companies based on the numbers of locals they employ. In addition, with regards to certain industries, the government is aiming for 100% Saudization of jobs, such as with the tourism and hospitality sector. 

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