Overseas Indians are expected to remit a record $55 billion into the country in 2010, out of the total migrant remittances to developing countries that are expected to reach a
record $325 billion (up from $307 billion in 2009) by the end of this year, a World Bank report said.
India is also expected to remain the top receiver of overseas remittances in 2010 with inflows of $55 billion against $51 billion expected to flow into China.
Worldwide, remittance flows are expected to reach $440 billion by the end of this year, the World Bank said in its latest Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 report.
Remittance flows remained resilient during the recent global financial crisis and were steady despite the pangs of financial reconstruction in the developed world, the report said.
The World Bank estimates remittances to developing countries to rise further in 2011 and 2012 as the global economy recovers from the financial crisis and possibly exceed $370 billion in two years' time.
"Remittances are a vital source of financial support that directly increases the income of migrants' families," said Hans Timmer, director of development prospects at the
World Bank. "Remittances lead to more investments in health, education, and small business. With better tracking of migration and remittance trends, policy makers can
make informed decisions to protect and leverage this massive capital inflow which is triple the size of official aid flows," Timmer said.
Worldwide, the top recipient countries in 2010 are India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and France while the top remitting countries in 2009 were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Russia, and Germany.
Top 10 remittance receiving countries
|India || |
|China || |
|Mexico || |
|Philippines || |
|France || |
|Germany || |
|Bangladesh || |
|Belgium || |
|Spain || |
|Nigeria || |
As a share of GDP, however, remittances are more significant for smaller countries - more than 25 per cent in some countries.
Top 10 recipients as share of GDP
|Tajikistan || |
35 per cent
|Tonga || |
28 per cent
|Lesotho || |
25 per cent
|Moldova || |
23 per cent
|Nepal || |
23 per cent
|Lebanon || |
22 per cent
|Samoa || |
22 per cent
|Honduras || |
19 per cent
|Guyana || |
17 per cent
|El Salvador || |
16 per cent
While high-income developed countries remain the main source of remittance flows, migration among developing countries is larger than that from developing countries to
high-income countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) grouping.
The World Bank study noted significant variation across developing regions, with larger-than-expected falls in remittances to Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the
Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa regions in 2009. Remittance flows to South Asia in 2009 grew more than expected, and those to East
Asia and the Pacific rose modestly, the report said.
"Remittances in 2008 and 2009 became even more of a lifeline to poor countries, given the massive decline in private capital flows sparked by the crisis," said Dilip Ratha,
manager of the migration and remittance unit at the World Bank. "However, high unemployment is prompting many migrant-receiving countries to tighten immigration quotas,
which would probably slow the growth of remittance flows. Also uncertain currency movements can have unpredictable effects on remittance flows," Ratha added.
Ratha, however, pointed out that certain structural and regulatory changes being carried out to mitigate crisis-related risks, might act as a barrier to remittance flows from developed countries to developing countries.
He cited the instance of mobile money transfer technology whose use for cross-border money transfers have been hindered by the adoption of new regulations to combat financial crime.
"There is urgent need to reassess regulations for remittances through mobile phones and mitigate the operational risks," Ratha said.
According to the Factbook 2011, the top migrant destination country remains the United States, followed by Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.
The top immigration countries relative to population are Qatar (87 per cent), Monaco (72 per cent), the United Arab Emirates (70 per cent), Kuwait (69 per cent), and Andorra (64 per cent). Mexico-United States is expected to be the largest migration corridor in the world this year, followed by Russia-Ukraine, Ukraine-Russia, and Bangladesh-India.