Expats send USD351bn home
BUSINESS| Dec. 5, 2011, 5:41 p.m.
A new World Bank report says remittance flows from people living outside their country of birth topped USD351 billion to developing countries this year. More than 215 million people live outside their countries of birth.
The report says remittance flows to developing countries are expected to total USD351 billion this year, and worldwide remittances, including those to high-income countries, will reach USD406 billion. By 2014, remittances to all countries will reach USD515 billion and to developing countries USD441 billion. Lower remittance costs are helping drive this growth, the report said.
The top global recipients of remittances were India, China, Mexico and the Phillipines; followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt and Lebanon.
Nigerians living abroad remitted USD11 billion this year.
Remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa showed 7.4% growth, while growth slowed in North Africa.
“Despite the global economic crisis that has impacted private capital flows, remittance flows to developing countries have remained resilient, posting an estimated growth of 8 percent in 2011,” said Hans Timmer, Director of the Bank’s Development Prospects Group. “Remittance flows to all developing regions have grown this year, for the first time since the financial crisis.”
There are, however, some serious downside risks to the Bank’s outlook for international remittance and migration flows, said the bank. Persistent unemployment in Europe and the US is affecting employment prospects of existing migrants and hardening political attitudes toward new immigration. Volatile exchange rates and uncertainty about the direction of oil prices also present further risks to the outlook for remittances.
More recently, some of the GCC countries, which are critically dependent on migrant workers, are considering tighter quotas for migrant workers to protect jobs for their own citizens.
“Such policies may impact remittance flows to developing countries in the longer term,” said Dilip Ratha, Manager of the Bank’s Migration and Remittances Unit and a co-author of the Migration and Development Brief. “But in the medium-term the risk of disruption to these flows is relatively low.”
The report noted that in several small low-income countries, remittances exceed a fifth of GDP and provide the largest source of foreign exchange. It said the remittances sent home by migrants to developing countries are three times the size of official development assistance and represent a lifeline for the poor.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
MasterCard grants Unified Payments acquiring licenseMasterCard has granted an acquiring license to Unified Payment Service Limited, a leading payments service provider, in a move expected to broadly increase the acceptance of MasterCard payment cards in Nigeria. Read More
MTN Business backs emerging ICT entrepreneursMTN Business has embarked on a long-term supplier development programme that will empower young, black entrepreneurs to take their place at the forefront of South Africa’s evolution to a knowledge-based economy. Read More
CNN, MultiChoice launch 20th African Journalist AwardsCNN International and MultiChoice this week officially launched the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 Awards. Read More
Cokodeal.com aims to revive ‘made in Nigeria’Cokodeal.com, describing itself as Africa’s largest medium for business exposure, is aiming to boost Nigerian manufacturers through greater online exposure. Read More
Leading African airline adds new payment optionsASKY, the leading airline in West and Central Africa, has partnered with PayGate and booking engine SITA to offer web-based booking to its customers for the first time. Read More
Francis Dufay takes the reins of Jumia in Côte d’IvoireE-commerce firm Jumia has formalised the appointment of Francis Dufay at the head of its subsidiary in Côte d’Ivoire. Read More
MTN Uganda rewards women entrepreneursThe 2015 edition of MTN Women in Business Awards have seen Mrs. Barbara Ofwono, the proprietor of Victorious Schools, scoop the overall Award of MTN Women in Business SME CEO of the year. Read More
Microsoft 4Afrika launches Biz4Afrika online SME hubMicrosoft 4Afrika used the opening of the Connected East Africa event in Diani, Kenya today to launch Biz4Afrika, an online hub providing Kenyan small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with access to locally relevant information and promote trade. Read More
BTCL, SA’s Vodafone seal partnershipBotswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) and South African based Vodafone have signed a non-equity partnership agreement. Read More
Mascom Derby horse race extravaganza for BotswanaMascom is doing it again this year with its annual Mascom horse racing event which has been on the Mascom calendar for at least 10 years. Each year during the Easter holidays, Botswana’s leading mobile telephony provider gets people to Botswana’s tourist resort of Maun for the race. Read More
FEATURED STORYe-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head
E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.