Karim Sahibafp/ Stringer/ Getty Images

Die Gastarbeiter-Dividende der Golfstaaten

PARIS – Wie sollen die Politiker der Golfstaaten des Nahen Ostens mit den vielen Gastarbeitern in ihren Länder umgehen? In Saudi-Arabien besteht etwa ein Drittel der Gesamtbevölkerung aus Ausländern. Und in Katar und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten stammen sogar neun von zehn Einwohnern aus anderen Ländern. Sollen die dortigen Regierungen weiterhin intensiv in die Entwicklung einer einheimischen Arbeitnehmerschaft investieren, um ihre Abhängigkeit von ausländischen Arbeitnehmern zu verringern?

Der außerordentlich hohe Anteil an Gastarbeitern in den Ländern des Golfkooperationsrats (GKR) wird oft als problematisch angesehen, da er angeblich die lokale Kultur und die nationalen Identitäten bedroht, die Löhne drückt und die Entwicklung inländischer Fähigkeiten und Talente verhindert. Da so viele Wirtschafts- und Tätigkeitsbereiche durch relativ billige ausländische Arbeitskräfte dominiert werden, bleiben für die Einheimischen oft nur wenige Berufsfelder mit wettbewerbsfähigen Löhnen übrig. Diese befinden sich meist im öffentlichen Dienst, wo die hohen Löhne und attraktiven Arbeitsbedingungen durch Öleinnahmen aufrecht erhalten werden.

Aber eine wichtige Dimension der politischen Debatte in der Region sollte nicht übersehen werden: Die großen ausländischen Bevölkerungsanteile der Golfstaaten bestehen nicht nur aus Arbeitern, sondern auch aus Konsumenten. Indem sie zur Vergrößerung der Bevölkerung ihrer Gastländer beitragen, helfen Gastarbeiter dabei, das Wirtschaftswachstum anzukurbeln.

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