Saudi students pass their final exams at a workshop in the Higher Institute for Plastics Fabrication on June 13, 2016 in Riyadh.
/ AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE
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Saudi Arabia Saturday named a prominent businessman as labor minister in a move welcomed by the private sector, as the kingdom seeks to diversify the economy away from oil and create jobs for an overwhelmingly young population.Private sector businessman Ahmad bin Suleiman al-Rajhi was named labor and social development minister, according to the royal orders published on state media.The kingdom, which has struggled for years to create jobs for its citizens, aims to create 1.2 million jobs by 2022 to reduce unemployment to 9 percent, a senior Labor Ministry official has told Reuters.Last year sources told Reuters that Rajhi was among a delegation of 10 businessmen representing the private sector who met MBS to discuss how the sector had been hit by austerity measures designed to cut the budget deficit and rising fees for employing foreigners, which are encouraging an exodus of expats.
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