WASHINGTON: India lead global remittances in the year 2013 with a whopping USD 70 billion in its kitty, of which USD 65 billion were earned from the country’s flagship software services exports, the World Bank reported Friday.
India’s neighbour China follows second with USD 60 billion, said the World Bank report, according to which international migrants from developing countries are expected to send USD 436 billion in remittances to their home countries this year, despite more deportations from some host countries.
In its latest issue of the Migration and Development Brief, the World Bank said this year’s remittance flows to developing countries will be an increase of 7.8 percent over the 2013 volume of USD 404 billion, rising to USD 516 billion in 2016.
Global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated at USD 581 billion this year, from USD 542 billion in 2013, rising to USD 681 billion in 2016, the report said.
“Remittances have become a major component of the balance of payments of nations. India led the chart of remittance flows, receiving USD 70 billion last year, followed by China with USD 60 billion and the Philippines with USD 25 billion,” said Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank.
“There is no doubt that these flows act as an antidote to poverty and promote prosperity.
Remittances and migration data are also barometers of global peace and turmoil and this is what makes World Bank’s KNOMAD initiative to organise, analyse, and make available these data so important,” he said.
The depreciation of the Indian rupee during 2013 appears to have attracted inflows through a surge in the deposits of non-resident Indians rather than remittances, the World Bank said.
The bank said growth in remittances to the South Asia region has slowed, rising by a modest 2.3 per cent to USD 111 billion in 2013, compared with an average annual increase of more than 13 per cent during the previous three years.
The slowdown was driven by a marginal increase in India of 1.7 percent in 2013, and a decline in Bangladesh of 2.4 percent, the bank said.
“In Bangladesh, the fall in remittances stems from a combination of factors, including fewer migrants finding jobs in the GCC countries, more migrants returning from GCC countries due to departures and deportations, and the appreciation of the Bangladeshi taka against the US dollar,” the bank said.
Still, some rebound is projected in the coming years, with remittances across the region forecast to grow to USD 136 billion in 2016, the World Bank said.
In addition to the top three, India, China and the Philippines, other main receivers of remittances were Mexico (USD 22 billion), Nigeria (USD 21 billion), Egypt (USD 17 billion), Pakistan (USD 15 billion), Bangladesh (USD 14 billion), Vietnam (USD 11 billion) and Ukraine (USD 10 billion).
In terms of remittances as a share of GDP, the top recipients were Tajikistan (52 percent), Kyrgyz Republic (31 percent), Nepal and Moldova (both 25 percent), Samoa and Lesotho (both 23 percent), Armenia and Haiti (both 21 percent), Liberia (20 percent) and Kosovo (17 percent).