No plans to ditch Egyptian workforce, says Saudi official

Saudi Arabia receives approximately 540,000 Egyptian pilgrims annually, according to Secretary General for the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry Dr. Fahad al-Sultan. The pilgrims spend an estimated US$1 billion each year on Saudi soil.

In a statement Tuesday on the sidelines of the first Egyptian-Saudi convention for businessmen, al-Sultan said Egypt welcomes nearly 400 thousand Saudi tourists each summer who spend nearly US$3 billion.

President of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council Abdullah Dahlan dismissed rumored plans to ditch Egyptian labor in Saudi Arabia in favor of the country's domestic workforce. The move is suspected as part of a Saudi plan to promote domestic labor.

Dahlan said both private and public sectors will continue to employ Egyptians. Saudi reports show there are nearly 1.2 million Egyptians currently working in its borders, according to Dahlan.

Dahlan admitted Saudi employers have treated the Egyptian workforce inappropriately but he denied the trend was systematic.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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