Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

40% of Saudi Contracting Companies ‘Stumbling’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

Riyadh- Economists have called for tackling the slump witnessed by some of the projects of the contracting sector at the Saudi and Arab levels and preparing them to participate in the coming projects of the Saudi Ministry of Housing at a time when 40 percent of the contracting companies in the Kingdom are stumbling.

Head of the Union of Arab Contractors Fahd al-Hammadi said that many challenges are facing the contracting sector on the Arab, Gulf and Saudi levels, especially the lack of liquidity and funding, noting that despite these challenges, the sector has witnessed significant development and growth during the past decade in terms of the number of companies operating and the volume of work.

Hammadi noted the efforts exerted to move the wheel of growth and development and reduce the unemployment rate.
He stressed the importance of protecting the sector, pointing out that the volume of its investments amounts to $30 trillion on the Arab level in light of the presence of 100 sectors to back the contracting sector and contribute to providing many job opportunities.

The contracting sector represents the largest motor engine for the national economy and the largest operator, Hammadi added, noting the importance of concerted efforts to protect the investments of this sector.

In addition to that, Chairman of the Saudi Economic Association Dr. Khaled al-Ruwais said that Saudi Arabia has spent about SR4 trillion (one trillion dollars) during the past ten years on construction projects as construction companies comprise 27 percent of the total registered facilities in the Kingdom.

Ruwais added that the number of companies and institutions in the sector reached about 243,000, including 173,000 small companies and enterprises, 54,000 small companies, 14,000 medium companies, 1,000 large companies and 242 giant companies, where about 4.5 million employees work in construction field.

He pointed out that the volume of assets of the construction sector is about $53.3 billion, where the Kingdom accounts for 39 percent of the size of the Gulf construction market while the construction sector represents between six and seven percent of the Saudi gross domestic product.

Ruwais noted that the volume of this industry amounts to around SR300 ($80 billion) and SR350 billion ($9.3 billion) as 300,000 Saudi citizens work in, including 35,000 engineer; however, at the same time, 40 percent of these constructing companies suffer from the stumbling of their projects, thus the delay in the payment of workers’ salaries.