Riyadh: In a strategic move to bolster its workforce in Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 initiative, Pakistan is undertaking significant efforts to ensure its workers are equipped with the necessary skills for the Kingdom’s developing projects.
According to Jawad Sohrab, special assistant to Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, this initiative aims to strengthen collaboration with both the Saudi government and the private sector.
Sohrab highlighted the deep relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, exemplified by the substantial 3 million-strong Pakistani diaspora in the Kingdom. “There are a lot of projects ongoing in Saudi Arabia, and we want to enhance the number of Pakistani workers in these projects,” Sohrab stated.
The demand for skilled workers spans various sectors, including healthcare, information technology, and construction. Moreover, Sohrab stressed the dynamic demand in the Kingdom, highlighting the need for flexible workforce planning
During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Sohrab engaged with members of the Kingdom’s private sector and various government enterprises to assess the demand and skill set required in sectors such as construction, IT, mining, and agriculture.
Additionally, the substantial Pakistani workforce already working in Saudi Arabia, constituting 12% of expats, may increase significantly due to ongoing projects like the Red Sea Project, Makkah expansion, and the $500 billion city of NEOM.
Aligned with the collaboration, Pakistan’s Overseas Employment Corporation has signed MOUs with private companies in the Kingdom. Sohrab’s visit aimed to align Pakistan’s workforce with Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation program, fostering a strong partnership for mutual benefit.
Beyond Traditional Sectors of Collaboration
This collaboration extends beyond traditional sectors, with a focus on information technology. Pakistan’s Information Technology Minister, Umar Saif, announced in October the creation of a dedicated desk in Saudi Arabia for the streamlined registration of Pakistani IT companies.
“We’re looking at opportunities for our startups to come here and raise investments from Saudi investors,” Saif remarked. Further, he added, “These startups have raised over $800 million in just the last two years and are now at a point where they’re about to take off.”
The Pakistan-Saudi collaboration strategically aligns with Vision 2030, emphasizing deep cultural and economic ties. It positions Pakistan as a key ally in Saudi Arabia’s pursuit of economic diversification and technological innovation.