Kyrgyz, Tajiks to fill Saudi labour shortfall

September 15, 2012

Saudi Arabia’s Labour Ministry is set to start recruiting workers from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to overcome a labour shortage resulting from the suspension of accords with some Asian countries.

Labour Minister Adel Mohammad Faqih last week said that Saudi Arabia was planning to open new channels and diversify sources from which workers could be recruited to work in the kingdom, but he did not name the countries.

“The negotiations with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are still going on while talks with Nepal and Cambodia are now in their final stages,” sources told local Arabic daily Al Eqtisadiya.

The sources added that Riyadh would also boost the number of Vietnamese citizens working in Saudi Arabia.

Although Saudi Arabia and its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members host millions of foreigners, mainly workers from Asia employed in the booming construction sector and as domestic helpers, the number of people from either Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan working in the country is limited.

Deeply divergent views between Saudi Arabia and traditional labour-providing states over the living and working conditions of their nationals in the Gulf state have prompted Riyadh to consider new countries to boost recruitment to meet the increasing demands of the local labour market.

Indonesia and the Philippines have pushed for better conditions for their citizens and have threatened to bar them from seeking work in specific countries, such as Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has rejected the preconditions as impractical.

However, Saudi Arabia has launched a drive at home to streamline the work of local recruiting agencies and ensure positive conditions for both employers and employees.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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