India has retained its top spot on remittances, according to the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief. Indian diaspora sent USD 79 billion back home in 2018, the World Bank said in its report released on Monday.
India was followed by China (USD 67 billion), Mexico (USD 36 billion), the Philippines (USD 34 billion), and Egypt (USD 29 billion), the bank said.
Over the last three years, India has registered a significant flow of remittances from USD 62.7 billion in 2016 to USD 65.3 billion 2017.
“Remittances grew by more than 14 percent in India, where a flooding disaster in Kerala likely boosted the financial help that migrants sent to families,” the Bank said.
Remittances to South Asia grew 12 per cent to USD 131 billion in 2018, improving upon the six per cent growth in 2017. Bangladesh, saw remittances upsurge by 15 per cent in 2018. In neighbouring Pakistan, remittance growth was moderate (seven per cent), due to significant declines in inflows from Saudi Arabia, its largest remittance source.
Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached USD 689 billion in 2018, up from USD 633 billion in 2017, it said.
“The upsurge was driven by stronger economic conditions in the United States and a pick-up in oil prices, which had a positive impact on outward remittances from some GCC countries,” the report added. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a regional inter-governmental political and economic bloc of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The global lender, however, noted that the global average cost of sending USD 200 remained high, at around seven per cent in the first quarter of 2019. The high costs of money transfers reduce the benefits of migration.