3rd July 2011 Essay Example

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Topic: International Relations

3rd July 2011

International relations refer to the relationship between different countries (Kale, 2006). It also goes beyond the relationship between different countries to include the relationship between domestic and multinational companies and the extent to which labour unions in different countries agitate for the implementation of the internationally recognized labour standards (Kale, 2006).

The main focus of Saudi Arabia’s policy on international relations as a state is to enhance its relations with the states in the gulf region. This means that the state focuses more on enhancing he relations with other Islamic countries in the Gulf region (Kale, 2006). This is particularly the case due to the strong influence of the Islamic religion in the country which demands for strong solidarity of the state with other Arab countries.

Employers/management in Saudi Arabia also strive to advance the Islamic labour practices with a majority of foreign employees subjected to local labour practices such as dress code and the use of Arabic as the main language of carrying out functions in organizations. Additionally, employers put a strong emphasis on Islamic practices such as scheduling work activities in between the prayer times on a daily basis (Kale, 2006). In this perspective, the employers/management in different companies in Saudi Arabia strive to advance Islamic culture in their work practices thus disregarding any foreign work practices in their organizations.

The rights of trade unions in Saudi Arabia are non-existent and legislations related to labour practices are drafted without any representatives from the workers. However, workers are only required to form committees whose main function is to initiate dialogue between the employers and the employees to solve disagreements in the workplace. Hence, Saudi Arabia does not conform to the International Labour Organization (ILO) standards which require the formation of a workers’ body such as the trade union (Kale, 2006).

As compared to Saudi Arabia, Australia has a more open foreign policy which includes developing relations with countries from all regions of the world. In this regard, the foreign or international relation of Australia is guided by regionalism and multilateralism commitment and bilateral relations with other countries on issues such as economic, terrorism and trade cooperation. As opposed to Saudi Arabia which is only committed to the Gulf and the United Nations cooperation, Australia is committed to both the commonwealth, the United Nations, Asia Pacific and Asia (Kale, 2006).

As opposed to the employers in Saudi Arabia, employers/managers in Australia focus on widely accepted internationally recognized work practices with flexible working practices. The focus of the managers/employers is not subject to a particular region or culture and thus foreign workers are integrated in the Australia’s work practices with minimal difficulties.

Trade unions in Australia are the main bodies that agitate for the rights of the workers both foreign and local workers. Trade unions are therefore widely accepted in Australia as opposed to Saudi Arabia. Trade unions perform the main function of mediating between the workers and the employers.

In order to become a world-class in terms of International Labour Organizations standards, Saudi Arabia must adopt flexible work practices such that foreign workers are not subjected to religious requirements once they get employed in the country (Kale, 2006). Additionally, Saudi Arabia must also allow the formation of trade unions in order to give workers a wider representation setting up labour policies.


Kale, S. (2006). The meaning of foreign relations, New York: Sage Publishers.