Overseas Business Risk Saudi Arabia

Overseas Business Risk – Saudi Arabia

Information on key security and political risks which UK businesses may face when operating in Saudi Arabia

Political and Economic

More information on political risk, including political demonstrations is available in FCO Travel Advice.

Human Rights

Saudi Arabia is a country of concern as outlined in the annual FCO Human Rights report.  Within Saudi society there are limited protections for the rights of overseas workers.  All foreign workers are required to have a sponsor in order to operate within Saudi Arabia and it is common practice for this to involve surrendering their passport.  We are aware of reports of abuse of this position of power, particularly in the context of most sponsorships being non-transferrable within country.  In common with all non-Muslims, foreign workers have restricted access to practice other religions.

Freedom of association and Assembly are also restricted under Saudi law; labour unions and other organisations for collective bargaining are not permitted.

Clear distinctions exist in most workplaces between the roles available to men and women.  Workplace segregation is commonplace, as are explicit restrictions on women in a number of roles.  There is no workplace discrimination related legislation in place.

Bribery and Corruption

Bribery is illegal. It is an offence for British nationals or someone who is ordinarily resident in the UK, a body incorporated in the UK or a Scottish partnership, to bribe anywhere in the world.

In addition, a commercial organisation carrying on a business in the UK can be liable for the conduct of a person who is neither a UK national or resident in the UK or a body incorporated or formed in the UK. In this case it does not matter whether the acts or omissions which form part of the offence take place in the UK or elsewhere.

According to the NGO Transparency International’s corruption perception index (CPI) Saudi Arabia was ranked in 66th place in 2012 (out of 176 countries).

Visit the Business Anti-Corruption portal page providing advice and guidance about corruption in Saudi Arabia and some basic effective procedures you can establish to protect your company from them.

Read the information provided on our Bribery and corruption page.

Terrorism Threat

Read the information provided on our Terrorism threat page.

Protective Security Advice

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure also provides protective security advice to businesses

Read the information provided on our Protective security advice page.

Intellectual Property

Read the information provided on our Intellectual Property page.

Organised Crime

Read the information provided on our Organised crime page.

More information is available on overseas business risk in a range of markets.

UK Trade & Investment Contact:

[email protected]

Countries: Saudi Arabia
Topics: Insurance & Risk
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