According to recently published World Bank's Migration and Development brief, India retained its position as world's top recipient of remittances by receiving record $79 billion back home in 2018. India was followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), Philippines ($34 billion), and Egypt ($29 billion).
Key Highlights of WB Brief
- Global remittances: Including high-income countries has reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017. Remittances are on track to become largest source of external financing in developing countries.
- Remittances to low-and middle-income countries: It has reached record high of $529 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6% over the previous record high of $483 billion in 2017.
- Remittance to India: Over the last three years, India has registered significant flow of remittances from $62.7 billion in 2016 to $65.3 billion 2017. Remittances grew by more than 14% in India. Flooding disaster in Kerala has likely boosted financial help that migrants sent to families.
- Remittances to South Asia: It grew 12% to $131 billion in 2018, outpacing the 6% growth in 2017. The upsurge was driven by stronger economic conditions in United States and pick-up in oil prices, which had positive impact on outward remittances from some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
- Avg cost of sending remittance: Global average cost of sending $200 remittance remained high, at around 7% in first quarter of 2019.
- The high costs of money transfers reduce benefits of migration. Reducing remittance costs to 3% by 2030 is global target under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10.7.
- There is need for renegotiating exclusive partnerships and allowing players operate through national post offices, banks, and telecommunications companies to increase competition for opening new transferring and lowering remittance prices.