Abu Dhabi: The monthly data issued by Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank (SAMA) showed an increase in remittances of expatriates in the Kingdom by 19.3 per cent in 2020, reaching 149.69 billion riyals, compared to 125.53 billion riyals in 2019, an increase of 24.16 billion riyals over the previous year.
SAMA data showed remittances of expatriates in the Kingdom recorded the highest level in four years in 2020, since they reached 151.9 billion riyals in 2016, followed by 2017 with a total of 141.66 billion riyals, and then in 2018 with a value of 136.43 billion riyals.
Remittances increased last year, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the labor market.
Saudi Arabia is one of the largest countries in the world depending on foreign workers, with nearly 10 million expatriates, who account for about 75 per cent of the total workers in the Kingdom, which is about 13 million workers.
Meanwhile, Saudi remittances recorded a decrease of 16.4% in 2020 on an annual basis, to 48.57 billion riyals, compared to 58.09 billion riyals in 2019.
Saudi remittances declined in December 3.3 per cent to 4.79 billion riyals, compared to 4.96 billion riyals in the corresponding month of the previous year.