Foreign workers operate more than 80 percent of the retail businesses in Saudi Arabia and earnings from these businesses sent by the expatriates to their home countries as remittances amount to 20 percent of the Saudi budget. This was disclosed by a member of the Saudi Economic Association, Mr. Essam Khalifa. He said that expatriates do their businesses giving a lump sum amount of money to the Saudi owners of retail businesses for the registration. These workers are mainly Asians.
The remittances of foreign workers last year reached SR110 billion, according to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. He stressed the importance of taking urgent measures to solve this problem. He suggested the development of a joint control of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance in cooperation with the locals.
He pointed that Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab country for remittances and the second largest country in the world after the United States, adding: «the size of transfers in the United States amounting to one percent of its budget, while in Saudi Arabia amounting to 20 percent», warning that these funds have it's social, economic and security effects.