June 7, 2016 / 7:37 PM / 3 years ago

Saudi has no strategic plan to cut foreign workers -minister

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, June 7 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has no “strategic target” to reduce the number of foreign workers in the kingdom as a way to cut unemployment among its citizens, the labour minister told a news conference on Tuesday.

Asked whether he expected the number of foreign workers to fall from a current level of about 9 million, Mufrej al-Haqbani said: “There is no strategic target to reduce the number of working expatriates, and we don’t want to link reducing unemployment with expatriates.”

He added, “The presence of expatriates is very important for the economy.” (Reporting by Rania El Gamal, writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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