Saudi Arabia is a very dry, sparsely populated kingdom that is a part of the Middle East. Enormous revenues from oil exports majorly fuel the economy of this country. It is a developing country with the world’s second-largest proven oil reserves, and with the current trend of oil extraction, its oil reserves will take over 60 years to exhaust completely.
Saudi Arabia’s government processes are quite complex. They require constant follow-ups and personal, departmental visits, and they cannot be managed without special personnel dedicatedly to working on such processes. Hence, the multinational clients hire a government relations officer (GRO) who acts as the link between the Saudi Arabia Government authorities and the company.
For many companies that are new to business in Saudi Arabia, the concept of GRO services is relatively new and something they haven’t heard of. Some of the best gro companies in Saudi Arabia assign all the activities like official submission of legal company documents, including visa processing, company license, and employee paperwork, to a government relations officer.
As the company cannot dedicatedly fulfills all the requirements of the government, it becomes necessary to outsource this function. Outsourcing this work ensures that the work is done by one with adequate experience in handling the procedures and requirements of each governmental department to ensure all the deadlines are met, and fines are avoided. This also helps the organization with safeguarding time as these processes can be time-consuming and frustrating with limited in-house resources. In this way, the company can focus on its main goal to generate business and make money.
Now let’s understand what the responsibilities of a Government Relations officer are:
- Gros have to make sure that all employees joining a particular organization should comply with all the Saudi government regulations and also employment laws.
- They team up with the HR Team of the organization to ensure they have full responsibility for all labor laws-related matters.
- Gros are a part of the entire recruitment process and work closely with the recruitment team to ensure all documents are completed and received on time, the visas are approved on time, and the company remains fully compliant with all the laws.
- Gros deal directly with government officials and handle visas, licenses, and sponsorship.
- Filing changes in company structure whenever applicable
- Reminding the company’s clients of statutory deadlines
- Applying for block visas
- Liaising with landlords
- Setting up business accounts on government sites (some of which are only available in Arabic)
- Preparation of invitation letters
- Assist the company with vehicle registrations and renewals
- The employee records need to be updated from time to time and require attestation, which a GRO can provide. As it is a very important process, it needs the full attention of a GRO to ensure everything is in place.
- The most important one is to represent your company at locations such as Embassies, Ministries, Municipalities, Police stations, and airports.
Now that we have understood the responsibilities of a GRO service provider, we must know the skill set a GRO agent in top gro organizations must possess in order to achieve the wanted results:
- Gros necessarily should be Saudi nationals and should be able to speak and write Arabic and English
- A valid KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) driving license
- They must have strong connections and network with government departments
- Extensive knowledge of KSA labor laws and should be updated with any changes in these laws.
- Proficient in due diligence collection and preparation.
- Total familiarity with government e-services
- Familiar with all processes and procedures, including local regulations, immigration processes, etc.
When a company is selecting a GRO service provider, reputation is very crucial and must be paid full attention to. Their reputation will help the company network within the country and also with the world and establish strong relationships. Along with reputation, experience also matters as the roles and responsibilities of a GRO are very tricky and complex and require years of experience and technical know-how about the procedures.
Importance of a GRO to a business:
- High level of compliance: All companies in Saudi Arabia ought to be compliant with all the laws and regulations, and not only does this reap high benefits but it also help the company get a platinum Nitaqat rating from the government and refrain from potential legal risks
- A GRO is fully aware of all rules and regulations that individuals or organizations in a particular industry must comply with. Additionally, all the procedural activities that must be followed are completely understood.
- They assist the company in attaining licenses, permits, or visas that are also a part of remaining compliant.
- A GRO also helps manage timelines on behalf of the company and avoids fines and penalties.
- As the GRO is fully aware of legal rules and regulations, it will minimize legal risks as errors in administration can be avoided, which in the absence of a GRO will pressure the in-house resources and also not provide 100% results.
- As the Saudi market is an evolving economy, new reforms are implemented very frequently, and a GRO is in the position to keep up with the constant changes and assist the company with its best.
- Also, as gros are up to date with the reforms and regulations, it takes lesser time for them to respond to queries and provide clarifications, thereby avoiding confusion among the business partners.
- The appointment of a GRO will help your company be held up in the market among the best. It would also ensure continued operations and be regarded as a trustworthy organization in the Kingdom.
If a business owner has worked in the Middle East – he must be aware of a notion called PRO (Public Relations Officer), and the same goes for any business in Saudi Arabia. The appointment of a GRO is essential when the business is placed in Saudi Arabia. To keep your organization compliant and among the top regarded companies in the Kingdom, choosing the most trusted and best GRO services in Saudi Arabia is extremely important.