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Remittances to developing countries expected to reach $450b in 2017

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Remittances to low-and middle-income countries would recover in 2017 after two consecutive years of decline, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.

The Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries are expected to grow by 4.8 per cent to $450 billion for 2017.

Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 3.9 per cent to $596 billion.

The recovery in remittance flows is driven by relatively stronger growth in the European Union, Russian Federation, and the United States.

As a result, those regions likely to see the strongest growth in remittance inflows this year are Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries fiscal tightening due to low oil prices and policies discouraging recruitment of foreign workers will dampen remittance flows to East and South Asia.

Among major remittance recipients, India retains its top spot, with remittances expected to total $65 billion this year, followed by China ($61 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion) and Nigeria (($22 billion).

In keeping with an improving global economy, remittances to low-and middle-income countries are expected to grow modestly by 3.5 per cent in 2018, to $466 billion. Global remittances will grow by 3.4 per cent to $616 billion in 2018.

The global average cost of sending 200 remained stagnant at 7.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.This is significantly higher than the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of three per cent.

Sub-Saharan Africa, with an average of 9.1 per cent, remains the highest-cost region, the release said.

Mr Dilip Ratha, the Lead Author of the Brief and head of Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), said: “Remittances are a lifeline for developing countries; this is particularly true following natural disasters such as the recent earthquakes in Mexico and the storms devastating the Caribbean.”

“It is imperative for the global community to reduce the cost of remitting money, by eliminating exclusivity contracts, especially in the high-income OECD countries. There is also an urgent need to address de-risking behaviour of global banks.”

Source: GNA

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