Washington: India retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances with its diaspora sending a whopping $79 billion back home in 2018, the World Bank said in a report. India was followed by China $67 billion), Mexico ($36bn), the Philippines ($34bn), and Egypt ($29 bn), the global lender said. 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 $62.7 bn in 2016 to $65.3 bn in 2017.
“Remittances grew by more than 14 pc in India, where a flooding disaster in Kerala likely boosted the financial help that migrants sent to families,” the Bank said. 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 pc). According to the report, remittances to low-and middle-income countries reached a record high of $529 bn in 2018, an increase of 9.6 pc over the previous record high of $483 billion in 2017.
Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017. The Bank said, remittances to South Asia grew 12 pc to $131 bn in 2018. “The upsurge was driven by stronger economic conditions in the US and a pick-up in oil prices, which had a positive impact on outward remittances from some GCC countries,” it said. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a regional inter-governmental political and economic bloc of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. However, the Bank in its report rued that the global average cost of sending $200 remained high, at around 7pc in the first quarter of 2019.