February 20, 2024

COLOMBO: Saudi Arabia has ranked first in offering work alternatives to Sri Lankan expats in 2023, as greater than 63,000 of them discovered employment within the Kingdom.

Yearly, greater than 200,000 migrant staff depart Sri Lanka to work overseas.

They’re a major supply of overseas change for the nation, which since final yr was gripped by its worst ever monetary disaster.

P.M. Amza, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, estimated that in 2023 remittances amounted to over $7 billion, of which a good portion was contributed by expat staff within the Kingdom.

“Through the yr 2023, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has develop into the primary nation, producing 63,000 employment (alternatives) for Sri Lankans,” he informed Arab Information on Saturday.

“Of the annual remittances amounting to $7-8 billion a yr, a large portion has been generated from the Kingdom, which is within the area of 15 to twenty % of the full remittances.”

Gulf Cooperation Council nations are a most popular selection for Sri Lankan staff, with Saudi Arabia being their key vacation spot, these days additionally attracting expert professionals to its megaprojects below Imaginative and prescient 2030.

These tasks, along with a brand new employment scheme below the Ability Verification Program, had been the primary elements making the Kingdom more and more enticing to Sri Lankans, in line with Amza.

The SVP settlement signed in March goals to enhance the skilled competence of staff within the Saudi labor market and ease the recruitment means of expert staff from the island nation.

Beneath the deal — which covers 23 professions — Saudi employers acknowledge accreditations issued by Sri Lanka’s Tertiary and Vocational Training Fee.

“The yr 2023 has seen the qualitative and quantitative improve of employment alternatives for Sri Lankans within the Kingdom,” Amza stated, including that whereas half of Sri Lankan expats have been employed within the home sector, this yr confirmed development within the variety of these working within the development and hospitality sector.

“The signing of the settlement on the Ability Verification Program between the 2 nations has additionally contributed to this improve of ability {and professional} classes of employment, which stood as almost 12,000 throughout 2023.”