India to retain its top spot as global remittances receiver

9th December, 2018 10:07:29 printer

NEW DELHI: India will retains its top spot as a global receiver of remittances, according to the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, which was release on Saturday.

India remittances are expected to total $80 billion (Dh293 billion) this year, followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines ($34 billion each), and Egypt ($26 billion), report agencies.

Remittances to South Asia are projected to increase by 13.5 per cent to $132 billion in 2018, a stronger pace than the 5.7 per cent growth seen in 2017. The upsurge is driven by stronger economic conditions in advanced economies, particularly the United States, and the increase in oil prices having a positive impact on outflows from some GCC countries, such as the UAE which reported a 13 per cent growth in outflows for the first half of 2018.

Bangladesh and Pakistan experienced upticks of 17.9 per cent and 6.2 per cent in 2018, respectively. For 2019, it is projected that remittance growth for the region will slow to 4.3 per cent, due to a moderation of growth in advanced economies, lower migration to the GCC and the benefits from the oil price spurt dissipating.

Remittances to the Middle East and North Africa region are projected to grow by 9.1 per cent to $59 billion in 2018, following 6 per cent growth in 2017. The growth rate is driven by Egypt’s projected rapid remittance growth of 14 per cent. In contrast, remittances to Jordan are projected to decline by 1 per cent in 2018. Beyond 2018, the region is expected to experience continued growth in remittances, although at a slower pace of 2.7 per cent in 2019. Lower oil prices are expected to moderate growth in GCC countries and remittance outflows will also be dampened by nationalisation policies of Saudi Arabia, notably in sectors banning foreign workers as of 2018.

The bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries will increase by 10.8 per cent to reach $528 billion in 2018. This new record level follows robust growth of 7.8 per cent in 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 10.3 per cent to $689 billion.

According to the report, remittance flows rose in all regions, most notably in Europe and Central Asia (20 per cent) and South Asia (13.5 per cent), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (9.8 per cent), Latin America and the Caribbean (9.3 per cent), the Middle East and North Africa (9.1 per cent), and East Asia and the Pacific (6.6 per cent). Growth was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation.

As global growth is projected to moderate, future remittances to low- and middle-income countries are expected to grow moderately by 4 per cent to reach $549 billion in 2019. Global remittances are expected to grow 3.7 per cent to $715 billion in 2019.

The brief notes that the global average cost of sending $200 remains high at 6.9 per cent in 2018’s third quarter.