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美国网友评: 80万名外侨离开沙特阿拉伯引发雇佣危机

Business Insider July 9, 2018
ALACO Ambrose
CareyAmbrose Carey is a director at Alaco, a London-based business-intelligence consultancy.

本文来自2018年7月9日的《商业内参》。 原文来自Alaco。 作者爱姆罗斯·凯瑞(Ambrose Carey)是位于伦敦的商业咨询机构——Alaco的一名董事。

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Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, at a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris.Reuters/Pool New

照片中间是在巴黎爱丽舍宫参加会议的沙特阿拉伯执行王储穆罕默德·本·萨尔曼。 本图来自路透社

The Saudisation policy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has coincided with an "expat exodus" and a drop in foreign investment.

随着沙特王储穆罕默德·本·萨尔曼倡导的“沙特化”政策的实施, 该国同时出现了外侨逃离潮和外国投资减少的现象。(译者注:“沙特化”政策是沙特国王颁发的一项全国性官方政策, 旨在鼓励沙特人才在私有部门替代外侨参与工作)

Saudi businesses are complaining that locals don't want to do "low-status" jobs that many expats worked — creating a real problem for the economy.

沙特商界抱怨说,当地人不想做很多外侨曾经做过的“低端”工作——这给经济造成了切实的问题。

In November, a paper by the Institute of International Finance projected capital outflows in 2017 at $101 billion, 15% of gross domestic product.

十一月份, 国际金融组织的一份文书预计2017年资本外流将高达1010亿美元, 占国民生产总值的15%。

A recent rebound in oil prices has temporarily rescued the ailing Saudi economy, but it will not be a long-term solution.

尽管最近回升的油价暂时拯救了沙特每况愈下的经济, 然而这并非长久之计。

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have portrayed himself as a moderniser rolling back the country's stultifying social restrictions — but he is struggling to turn the country's financial fortunes around, with the economy suffering a crisis of confidence.

沙特王储穆罕默德·本·萨尔曼也许曾经把自己塑造成一个逐步结束本国刻板社会限制的现代派——然而随着人们对于经济失去信心, 他在改变国家经济命运的问题上处境维艰。

Hit hard by the oil-price collapse, the kingdom is now experiencing a plunge in foreign investment and high levels of capital outflow as its de facto leader, MBS as he is commonly known, attempts to consolidate power and steer a new economic course.

在沙特被油价崩盘严重打击后, 该国的实际领导人——人们通常称之为MBS的穆罕默德·本萨尔曼——试图整合权力并开辟出一条崭新的经济道路。 然而目前却又出现了外国投资跳水以及高额资本出逃的问题。 (译者:MBS为穆罕默德·本萨尔曼的缩写)

The uncertainty caused by his ambitious, some would say unrealistic, plans to modernise the economy has been further stoked by Saudi Arabia's apparent struggle to fill private sector jobs vacated by a growing exodus of expats. As of April, more than 800,000 had left the country since late 2016, alarming domestic companies concerned that the foreigners cannot be easily replaced.

这种不确定性是由他充满雄心的——也有人说是不切实际的——经济现代化计划所造成的。 而不断增长的外侨出逃使得沙特私有部门的职位空缺明显难以填补, 这又给经济不确定性火上浇油。 从2016年晚些时候截至到今年四月份, 离开这个国家的人数已达80多万。 数量惊人的国内公司都在为沙特人不能那么容易地取代这些外国人而感到担忧。

Their departure is part of MBS's attempt to wean the country off its dependence on oil through economic diversification, a significant element of which involves trying to persuade Saudis in undemanding state sector jobs — which make up two-thirds of domestic employment — and those out of work to take up the new vacancies. The authorities want to generate 450,000 openings for Saudis in the private sector by 2020.

这些人的离开是MBS试图通过经济多元化来斩断该国对石油依赖的一个步骤。 经济多元化的一个突出元素就是试图说服那些在国营单位从事简单工作沙特人——占到国内岗位的三分之二——以及那些没有工作的人来接受这些新的空缺。 当局希望在2020年之前在私人公司为沙特人创造45万个岗位。

MBS has sought to expedite the exodus of foreign workers, who constitute about a third of the population, by stepping up the process of so-called Saudisation — essentially the creation of a more productive local workforce. He is hiking up levies on companies employing non-Saudis, requiring foreigners to pay fees for dependents, and restricting the sectors in which they can work, with employment in many areas of the retail and service industries now strictly confined to Saudis. The measures are said to be driving the expat exodus, evident in the marked downturn in the rental real estate market and empty shopping malls.

MBS更是通过实施了所谓的“沙特化”进程加快了总人口占全国三分之一的外国工人的逃离。 “沙特化”本质上是为了创造一群更有工作效率的本国劳动力。 为此, 他提高了雇佣非沙特工人的公司的赋税, 并收紧了他们可以工作的范围。 零售和服务业很多领域的雇佣如今只限于沙特人。 据说这些措施导致了外侨的流失。 房地产市场明显下降的租金以及空荡荡的购物中心也印证了这一点。

While among high-earning Western professionals Saudi Arabia has long been viewed as a hardship posting compensated by their tax-free status, the majority of foreigners in the country are from the Middle East and Asia, many employed in low-paid jobs in the sectors now earmarked for Saudis.

高收入的西方专业人士长时间以来一直视沙特阿拉伯为一个艰难驻地,他们把免税作为补偿。 而该国的大部分外国人来自于中东和亚洲, 很多人都在如今只为沙特人所保留的领域做着收入微薄的工作。

But Saudi business owners are having difficulty getting locals, accustomed to undemanding work in the state sector and generous unemployment benefits, to work for them. Reports suggest many Saudis are put off by what they regard as poorly paid, low-status jobs. The recruitment problems have seemingly sparked so much concern that they have been played out on the pages of the Saudi Gazette, the government's mouthpiece, which normally features anodyne stories about life in the kingdom.

然而沙特雇主很难让习惯了国营机构简单工作和丰厚失业补贴的本地人为他们工作。 有报道声称很多沙特人对这些他们认为薪资不高又低端的工作不感兴趣。 招聘问题似乎引发了很大关注,连惯用温和小文描述王国生活的政府喉舌 《沙特公报》上都有文章讨论这一现象。

In February, the publication reported that a number of heads of chambers of commerce and industry had called on the government to exempt the private sector from "100%" — or full — Saudisation, especially posts that are hard to fill, such as in construction, amid concerns that many businesses may close down. In May, an item revealed that over a three-month period over 5,000 fines were issued to businesses flouting Saudisation rules in sectors ranging from telecoms to hotels to car rental.

在二月份, 《沙特公报》报道了商业部和业界的一些领袖在很多公司可能倒闭的担忧中, 号召政府免除在私有领域百分之百——或者全面——实施“沙特化”的规定, 特别是在如建筑领域等难以替代的岗位上。 五月份, 一篇文章披露在三个多月的时间内,超过5000张罚单被发给了从电信到宾馆再到租车等各行各业未能遵守工作沙特化规定的公司。

Many companies are reported to be circumventing the policy's local employee quota requirement by hiring Saudis and paying them small salaries for what are in effect bogus jobs — a process termed "fake Saudisation" — prompting some to call for the nationalisation of the jobs market to be reconsidered. In December, columnist Mohammad Bassnawi provided an intriguing insight into private sector concerns over the policy and its possible consequences.

有报道称, 很多公司都会用小额薪水雇佣沙特人从事一些实际上不存在的工作来规避该政策。这种做法被称为“假沙特化”, 这使得一些人呼吁重新考虑工作市场的国民化政策。 12月份, 专栏作家穆罕默德·巴斯纳为就曾以有趣的视角深入分析了该政策在私有部门引起的担忧以及它可能的后果。

"Employers say young Saudi men and women are lazy and are not interested in working and accuse Saudi youth of preferring to stay at home rather than to take a low-paying job that does not befit the social status of a Saudi job seeker," Bassnawi said, adding that fake Saudisation "could create a generation of young men and women who are not interested in finding a job and who prefer to get paid for doing nothing."

“雇主说沙特的年轻男女懒惰, 对工作不感兴趣, 并且指责沙特年轻人宁愿呆在家里也不出去做一份报酬低廉、且对沙特求职者的社会地位没有帮助的工作,”巴斯纳为说, 他还表示“假沙特化“会造就一代不愿去找工作, 而且更想为自己的无所事事获得报酬的年轻男女。

Nonetheless, the authorities seem unlikely to row back on Saudisation. MBS hopes to generate some $17.33 billion through the new expat taxes by 2020 in order to help address the budget deficit — projected to be $52 billion in 2018 — and finance new economic projects. Yet critics question whether the projected tax haul will compensate for the loss of consumer spending resulting from foreigners' departure, as even those who remain are likely to send their relatives home because of the fees on dependents.
"Taxation of expatriates, before Saudi Arabia turns into a productive economy that depends on industry, is like putting the cart before the horse," Tariq A. Al Maeena, a Jeddah-based commentator, said in Gulf News in October. Karen E. Young of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, writing in the institute's blog in February, said it will take a decade or more to create a working class of Saudis willing to do service sector, retail, and construction jobs.

不过, 看上去当局并不想收回”沙特化“政策。 MBS希望通过这项新的外侨税在2020年收取约173.3亿美元来帮助解决财政赤字(预计2018年的赤字高达520亿美元)并为新的经济项目提供资金。 而批评家则质疑这项预计中的税款收入是否能补偿由于外国人的离开而造成的消费损失。 因为即使那些留下来的人也可能由于政府向依赖他们的亲属收费而把亲人送回国。 “从归化侨民身上收的税, 在把沙特阿拉伯变成一个依靠工业的繁荣经济体之前有可能会得不偿失,”驻约旦评论员塔瑞克·A·阿尔马伊纳在10月份的《海湾新闻》里如是说。 华盛顿阿拉伯海湾新闻研究所的凯瑞·E·杨在二月份发表的博客里说沙特需要花上十年甚至更多的时间才能建立起一个愿意在服务业、零售业和建筑业工作的沙特工人阶级。

In the meantime, MBS's hopes of raising capital elsewhere, and making public expenditure savings, are dimming. His ill-judged roundup of princes and businessmen late last year in an anti-corruption drive, which seemed more like a shakedown, generated a fraction of the $100 billion target, in the process shaking investor confidence. And a plan to slash public subsidies has had to be curbed in the face of public grumblings. And though a much-publicised tour of Western capitals earlier this year enabled MBS to burnish his self-image as a social and economic reformer to largely uncritical audiences, it's unclear whether the round of diplomacy has salved the concerns of the Saudi business community and Western investors. Foreign direct investment slumped from $7.5 billion in 2016 to $1.4 billion last year, a fourteen-year low, UN figures show. Moreover, in November, a paper by the Institute of International Finance projected capital outflows in 2017 at $101 billion, 15% of GDP. The IIF said capital flight from Saudi Arabia has contributed to the sizeable decline in official reserves. There are strong anecdotal indications that a proportion of these outflows represent concerned businessmen shifting as much of their liquid assets abroad.

同时, MBS希望在别处敛财和节省公共开支的希望却日渐黯淡下去。 去年下半年, 他出于反腐的考虑对王子和商人进行围剿的决定有欠考虑。 这更像是一场勒索, 在动摇了投资者信心的同时却只收到计划中1000亿美元的一部分。 另外,面对公众的抱怨, 削减公共补贴的计划不得不有所收敛。

尽管今年早些时候对来访西方资本做出的广泛报道把MBS的个人形象在基本没有批判精神的民众面前打造成了一个社会和和经济上的改革者, 我们尚不清楚这一次外交行动是否打消了沙特商界和西方投资者的忧虑。

联合国数据显示, 和2016年相比, 沙特去年的外国直接投资从75亿美元狂跌至14亿美元, 跌至14年以来的最低点 。另外, 在11月份, 国际金融机构的一篇文章预计2017年流出资金将高达1010亿美元, 占GDP的百分之十五。 国际金融组织说沙特阿拉伯的资金外逃导致了官方储备金的大幅度下跌。 据有力传闻表示, 这些资金外流部分反映了忧心忡忡的商人把尽可能多的流动资金转移到国外的现象。

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