Saudi Arabia issues order to localize all professions in consulting sector

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Mr. Ahmed Al Rajhi has issued an order to Saudize all professions in the consulting sector.

The decision targets all professions in the sector, including a Financial advisory specialist, business adviser, cybersecurity advisory specialist, project management manager, project management engineer, and project management specialist.

According to the statement, “The ministry issued a decision to localize 35 percent of consultancy professions and businesses effective as of April 6, 2023. In the second phase, the ministry seeks to increase the ratio to 40 percent as of March 24, 2023.”

The decision will be implemented, in coordination and cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority, the Expenditure and Project Efficiency Authority, and the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF).

In a statement, Mr. Al Rajhi stressed that the decision intends to provide stimulating and productive job opportunities for male and female citizens. Further, it aims to raise the level of the participation of citizens in the labor market, and enhance their contribution to the Kingdom’s economic system.

The minister did not reveal details, including the timing of the implementation of the Saudization decision in the consultancy sector.

As per the reports, a royal order had been issued three years ago, banning all government departments and agencies from engaging foreign consultancies unless in exceptional circumstances where no local expertise is available. All government firms have also been directed to seek local advisors before approaching foreign consulting firms.

The constraints on foreign consultancies followed a recommendation from the Experts’ Committee under the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers. The recommendation was based on the committee’s studies, in participation with the relevant authorities, about the local consulting landscape.

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