• India retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances with its diaspora sending a whopping USD 79 billion back home in 2018, the World Bank.
  • India was followed by China (USD 67 billion), Mexico (USD 36 billion), the Philippines (USD 34 billion), and Egypt (USD 29 billion).
  • With this, India has retained its top spot on remittances, according to the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.
  • 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.
  • In Pakistan, remittance growth was moderate (seven per cent), due to significant declines in inflows from Saudi Arabia, its largest remittance source.
  • In Bangladesh, remittances showed a brisk uptick in 2018 (15 per cent).
  • According to the report, remittances to low-and middle-income countries reached a record high of USD 529 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6 per cent over the previous record high of USD 483 billion in 2017.
  • Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached USD 689 billion in 2018, up from USD 633 billion in 2017.
  • Remittances to South Asia grew 12 per cent to USD 131 billion in 2018, outpacing the six per cent growth in 2017.
  • 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 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a regional inter-governmental political and economic bloc of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
  • The Bank in its report ruled that the global average cost of sending USD 200 remained high, at around seven per cent in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Reducing remittance costs to three per cent by 2030 is a global target under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10.7.
  • Remittance costs across many African corridors and small islands in the Pacific remain above 10 per cent.
  • Remittances are on track to become the largest source of external financing in developing countries.
  • The high costs of money transfers reduce the benefits of migration.
  • Renegotiating exclusive partnerships and letting new players operate through national post offices, banks, and telecommunications companies will increase competition and lower remittance prices.