We all know people who ‘send money back home’ to their country of origin. Ok, I don’t but I’m sure you do. Hopefully. Care to guess how much it adds up to? $232 billion dollars annually. That’s right, billions, according to a World Bank report published yesterday.
You may yawn and think “and what?”, but this means a lot. The World Bank is interested because $160 billion of that $232 billion goes to developing countries. That is more than twice the level of development aid they get from all sources. Those big bucks means a lot to them. And guess who is on top of the list.
The countries receiving the most in recorded remittances are India ($21.7 billion), China ($21.3 billion), Mexico ($18.1 billion), France ($12.7 billion), and the Philippines ($11.6 billion). Those for which remittances account for the largest proportion of gross domestic product are Tonga (31%), Moldova (27.1%), Lesotho (25.8%), Haiti (24.8%), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (22.5%).
There are other very interesting other conclusions the WB makes.
1) The report says greater emigration of low skilled emigrants from developing to industrial countries could make a “significant contribution” to poverty reduction.
2) An increase in the number of migrants which raises the work force in high income countries by three percent by the year 2025, could increase global real income by 0.6 percent or $356 billion.
3) The gains would then be high for developing countries â€“ so much so that they would rival the potential gains from increased global trade.
4) Remittances through informal channels could add at least 50 percent to the official estimate, making remittances the largest source of external capital in many developing countries.
It also siginificantly dents the idea that all these countries only survive through international handouts.
The report argues the most feasible means of increasing such emigration would be through managed migration programs between the developing and developed countries, which combine temporary migration of low skilled workers with incentives for return.
Migration is truly a global phenomenon,” said Dilip Ratha, one of the co-authors of the report. “Many countries, both developed and developing, both send and receive migrants, and both send and receive remittances.”
I read an article few years ago stating that money sent to Bangladesh by British Bengalis was estimated to be twice its foreign aid. I’m surprised Pakistan and Bangladesh are not on that list, and it is probably due to the report’s global than UK focus.
As a university project or something it would also be interesting to see how much assistance British Pakistanis provided for the recent earthquake in money and actual help.
The report also asks the companies facilitating money transfer to reduce their charges but I doubt the bastardos from Western Union will care.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Economics,South Asia