Saudi Arabia’s expat remittance surged 19% in 2020

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Arabia recorded an increase of 19.25 percent in remittances from expatriates during 2020, with the average annual transfer jumped to about $6,375.44 during the same year as compared to $5,099 in 2019.

The statistical figures released by the Saudi Central Bank and the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) show that the foreign remittances in last year accounted for 11.3 percent of the private sector’s gross domestic product (GDP), surpassing $0.35 trillion.

According to the report, there were 6.27 million social insurance subscribers in Saudi Arabia’s private employment market, in addition to 49,599 in the government sector at the end of 2020, while the total remittances of expatriates amounted to $39.91 billion during the year. Last year, foreign remittances increased by 19.25 percent on an annual basis as compared to $33.47 billion in 2019.

At the end of the first quarter of this year, the number of expatriate social insurance subscribers in the private sector fell to 6,254,660, compared to 6,273,354 subscribers at the end of 2020. During 2019, the average expatriate remittances in Saudi Arabia amounted to about $5,099 while the number of expatriate workers in the private sector reached 6,536,072 subscribers, in addition to 50,594 male and female employees in the government sector.

Expatriate remittances in the Kingdom posted an increase of 13.95 percent during the first five months of 2021 on an annual basis, with an increase of $2.06 billion compared to the same period last year. The total remittances rose to $16.8 billion, compared to $14.7 billion in the same period in 2020. The average foreign transfer amounted to about $2,859.75 in the first five months of 2021.

The percentage of expatriate transfers from the GDP to the private sector during the last five years ranged between 9.4 percent to 11.7 percent and recorded about 11.7 percent in 2015 of the private sector’s output, then 11.3 percent and 10.6 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively, reaching 10.5 percent in 2018 and 9.4 percent in 2019, and 11.3 percent last year.

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