Published: Nov 9, 2010 21:56 Updated: Nov 9, 2010 21:56
NEW DELHI: Saudi Arabia is among top five migrant destination countries from where remittance flows to developing countries are expected to reach $325 billion by this yearend, a six percent increase over 2009, according to a report.
Globally, remittances to developing countries, which have been a resilient source of external financing during the recent global financial crisis, are expected to hit $440 billion by the end of this year, revealed World Bank's latest Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011.
While the US remained the top migrant destination country, Russia, Germany and Canada were some other key nations, besides Saudi Arabia, from where the liquidity poured into the developing nations, said the report.
India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and France remained top recipient countries in 2010 so far, said the report released by the Washington-based agency.
While non-resident Indians helped their country’s economy with a liquidity injection of $55 billion, China received $51 billion from its overseas residents and Mexico 22.6 billion.
The Philippines garnered $21.3 billion from its residents abroad, while French nationals residing overseas contributed $15.9 billion into their country’s economy, said the report.
Other nations in the top 10 remittance-receiving countries were Germany ($11.6 billion), Bangladesh ($11.1 billion), Belgium ($10.4 billion), Spain ($10.2 billion) and Nigeria ($10 billion).
The combined remittance flow from the United States, Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Canada is likely to exceed $370 billion in two years' time, the World Bank report said.
However, the report added that this outlook is subject to the risks of a fragile global economic recovery, volatile currency and commodity price movements and rising anti-immigration sentiment in many destination countries.
It said that movements in currency exchange rates and commodity prices can pose unpredictable risks for remittance flows.
"While a weaker US dollar can imply larger dollar-denominated remittances from Europe, it can also increase dollar prices of assets and goods in remittance-receiving countries such as India, Mexico and the Philippines," Dilip Ratha, manager of the migration and remittance unit at the World Bank, was quoted as saying.
"High unemployment is prompting many migrant-receiving countries to tighten immigration quotas, which would probably slow the growth of remittance flows," he added.
Mexico is the country with the greatest number of citizens working abroad with 11.9 million, followed by India with 11.4 million, the World Bank report said.
It also called for regulations to combat financial crime that have become a roadblock to the adoption of new mobile money transfer technologies for cross-border remittances.
"There is urgent need to reassess regulations for remittances through mobile phones and mitigate the operational risks," Ratha said.
While some developing regions in Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed larger-than-expected falls in remittances in 2009, flows to South Asia in 2009 grew more than expected, said the report, adding that those to East Asia and Pacific rose modestly.
"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 (global financial) crisis," said Ratha.
© 2010 Arab News