Global Remittance Decline; But India Remains World’s #1 Country sending $68.9B Back Home in 2015


Global remittances

India has maintained as their position as world’s #1 remittance source, as Indians living in foreign locations sent $68.9 billion back home. Compared to 2015, this is a decrease of 2.1%; but despite this fact, India has beaten all countries including China is remittance chart.

In fact, due to various economic and global reasons, remittance has decreased globally. In 2014, remittance grew by 3.2% globally, which has come down to growth of 0.4% in 2015.

As per the report released by World Bank, weak oil prices and stronger dollar compared to other countries where remittance is being sent are highlighted as the primary reasons for lower remittance. In fact, this slow growth was the slowest ever since the recession hit the global markets in 2008-09.

Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group said, “Remittances are an important and fairly stable source of income for millions of families and of foreign exchange to many developing countries. However, if remittances continue to slow, and dramatically as in the case of Central Asian countries, poor families in many parts of the world would face serious challenges including nutrition, access to health care and education,”

Remittances in SAR Countries

Overall, migratory residents remitted $431.6 billion to developing countries in 2015, compared to $430 billion in 2014. If we observe the remittance to developed countries, then the number is $581.6 billion, which is decrease of 1.7% compared to 2014.

Some interesting highlights from the report:

  • India is once again the country which received maximum remittance of $69.8 billion. At #2 is China with $64 billion and at #3 is Philippines at $28 billion
  • Due to earthquake in Nepal, they remittance to Nepal increased significantly (20.9%)
  • Except Nepal, remittance to every Asian country decreased
  • For the first time since 2009, remittance to India has dropped; and the sharpest drop was witnessed from Middle East region, due to weaker oil prices
  • Bangladesh-India migration corridor has been declared as world’s 3rd largest, after Mexico-US corridor and Russia-Ukraine (for inflow/outflow of migrants)
  • Remittance to Bangladesh dropped to 2.5% from a high of 8% in 2015; for Pakistan, it dropped to 12.85 from 16.7%
  • The report mentions that Digital India and Startup India mission can significantly reduce remittance costs as newer technologies are evolved
  • Globally, the cost of sending $200 was about 7.4%, which is down from 2014.
  • Sub-Sahara is the most expensive place to send money, as it costs 9.5% of the total cost

You can access the complete report titled ‘Migration & Development Brief 2016’ here.

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