Construction

Dutch contractors to be hit by KSA’s Netherlands trade ban

Saudi construction industry expected to be affected by the trade sanctions issued against the Dutch

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Following anti-Islamic comments passed by a Dutch politician, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has issued sanctions against all trade with the Netherlands in a move which will impact the Kingdom’s construction industry.

Local media has reported that Dutch contracting firms have been banned from undertaking any current or future projects in the Kingdom, according to interactions with sources from the Council of Saudi Chambers by Arabic-language daily Al Eqtisadiah.

Business visits between the two countries are also expected to dwindle as bans are placed on the issuance of visas to Dutch nationals.

Saudi Ambassador to the Netherlands, Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Shagrood sent a letter to the Kingdom’s foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, following which the ban order was passed.

These directives are expected to impact both countries; the volume of bilateral trade between KSA and the Netherlands amounted to up to $5 billion in 2010, when the Dutch country accounted for up to 4% of the country’s FDI that year, according to a report by Reuters.

The Netherlands “should have boycotted that country a long time ago,”  said the Dutch politician held responsible for these remarks, Geert Wilders, when prompted about potential trade sanctions by Saudi Arabia.

The ban comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is grappling with labour losses, which have steadily intensified and hurt the Kingdom’s construction industry after the government’s crackdown on illegal labour, and its endeavour to increase local representation in its workforce.

“Several hundred expats have been fired by companies with a sufficient number of Saudis,” Fadal Abu Al-Ainain, an economic consultant with several private firms said in April 2014.

“The Labour Ministry must close the doors of foreign recruitment so that professionals already living in the Kingdom can find jobs.”

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