Expat levy cut to benefit 900,000 SMEs

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About 900,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are to benefit from Monday’s Cabinet decision exempting companies with nine or less expat workers and no Saudis from paying a SR2,400 expat levy for four foreign workers.

According to one report, nearly two million people, including a large number of expats, are working in the SME sector. Various businessmen and institutions have welcomed the government decision, which requires business owners to run their establishments themselves.

Council of Saudi Chambers Chairman Abdulrahman Al-Zamil said that the decision is an important boost to these SMEs and contributes to strengthening the economic role and development of a vital sector.

“This will enhance the stability and growth of these enterprises, which will eventually increase their profits,” he said.

“SMEs make up the largest percentage of the Saudi business sector and this will encourage owners to work and directly supervise their businesses based on the terms stipulated by the decision.”

Al-Zamil also praised the formation of a ministerial committee studying the compensation intended for SMEs owners within three months.

Prominent Saudi businessman Saad Al-Ajlan said that SMEs account for 93 percent of companies Kingdomwide and 27 percent of the country’s total employment.

He said such a decision is proof that community dialogue yields tangible results on the ground.

“It also confirms the government’s desire to provide any outlet in the interest of stakeholders and citizens,” he added.

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