Less Saudization urged to retain glitter in gold
A study conducted by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for reducing the Saudization rate in the gold and jewelry sector from 100 to 50 percent to save the industry from further losses and protect the interest of investors.
The study expected a substantial increase in gold sales in the Riyadh region in coming months as a result of high standard of living and massive development projects.
Gold sales in the region rose by 79 percent, diamonds 62 percent and jewelry 24 percent.
“At present 3,243 employees are working in 302 jewelry shops in Riyadh with Saudis accounting for 43 percent,” the study said, adding that the industry is facing problems because of lack of skilled workers, high salary and five percent import tariff.
The study called for setting up special industrial cities for gold work, reducing import tariff, opening up of training institutes for Saudi men and women and extending more incentives to investors.
The Saudi gold and jewelry market is estimated at more than SR60 billion. Most of the nearly 10 million foreign pilgrims, who come for Haj and Umrah as well as other visitors purchase gold and jewelry from Saudi Arabia.
According to the World Gold Council, the Middle East recorded an increase in total consumer demand from 49 tons in Q2 of 2012 to 67.4 tons in Q2 of 2013, worth $3.065 billion.